Michael O’Leary is a poet, novelist, publisher, performer and bookshop proprietor who has been a magnetic figure for many other contemporary New Zealand writers. He writes in both English and Māori; and his diverse and prolific work in poetry, fiction and non-fiction explores his dual heritage: Māori on his maternal side and Irish Catholic on his father’s as well as his mother’s. Born in Auckland in the year of the Tiger 1950, he was educated at the universities of Auckland, Otago (Dunedin), and Victoria University (Wellington). His Earl of Seacliff Art Workshop imprint (inspired by Andy Warhol’s ‘Factory’, the Beatles’ Apple label, and John and Yoko’s ‘Plastic Ono Band’), which he founded in 1984, has published some of his own prolific output, as well as many other New Zealand writers. This press has also featured books by writers from other countries, including the first versions of Richard Berengarten’s series, Manual, in four mini-books (2005-2009). The 240-page A-Z compilation, 25 Years of the Earl of Seacliff (ed. Mark Pirie, 2009), documents Michael O’Leary’s versatile and influential oeuvre. Michael O’Leary is a trustee for the Poetry Archive of New Zealand Aotearoa (PANZA), a charitable trust dedicated to archiving, collecting and promoting New Zealand poetry. He now lives in Paekakariki, north of Wellington.
Photo of Michael O’Leary by John Girdlestone
Michael can be contacted at the following addresses:
Postal address: PO Box 42, Paekakariki, New Zealand