November 7, 2015
On Saturday, 24 October 2015, Michael O’Leary’s new book Main Trunk Lines: Collected Railway Poems was launched in tandem with David McGill’s The Death Ray Debacle.
The launch was held at the Paekakariki Station Museum.
A report appears on Beattie’s Book Blog:
September 6, 2015
The Paekakariki Arts Walk was opened on Sunday 30 August 2015.
Michael O’Leary appeared at the opening and blessing for the project. Michael, a significant local artist, is included in the walkway with his poem ‘Track Gang & Shunters at Paekakariki’ .
Here’s a link to the website about the project:
September 5, 2015
Michael O’Leary’s collected railway poems Main Trunk Lines has been released through HeadworX Publishers in Wellington. Copies of the new paperback edition can be ordered direct from HeadworX, email: firstname.lastname@example.org See information and details on the book below:
New Book Information from HeadworX
Title: Main Trunk Lines: Collected Railway Poems
Author: Michael O’Leary
Editor: Mark Pirie
Release: September 2015
Extent: 80 pages
Category: NZ Fiction
About the Book
Michael O’Leary’s new book is the first to collect his entire oeuvre of New Zealand railway poems.
Spanning over 30 years of his writing, it runs the length of the railway in Aotearoa and depicts many of the country’s railway stations and towns.
The central poem of the book is O’Leary’s sequence Station to Station, a cognac dedicated to the rock artist David Bowie.
Mark Pirie writes in the foreword: “Michael’s poems take the reader on their own rail journey, stopping from station to station and recording the life and times of the people and places around them. But the train can also be a metaphor for life, the great journey we are all part of which encompasses both love and death. There’s no stopping for long with Michael, as the next train arrives and the next journey awaits.”
O’Leary’s well-known love of all things rail led him to become a trustee for the Paekakariki Station Museum after he settled on the Kapiti Coast in the 1990s. He currently operates Kakariki Bookshop next to the Paekakariki Station Museum.
‘I don’t know of any living New Zealand writer who is a bigger railway enthusiast.’ – Iain Sharp, Sunday Star-Times
About the Editor
Mark Pirie is a New Zealand poet, editor, writer and publisher. Website: www.markpirie.com
Cover photo by W W Stewart, A P Godber collection, Turnbull Library
Michael O’Leary has published a booklet edition of Dr Tony Taylor’s 1964 New Zealand conversations with Beatle John Lennon. See below for book details. Copies can be ordered from Michael direct: email@example.com
New book information
Title: Tony Taylor in Conversation with John Lennon
Authors: Tony Taylor with Michael O’Leary [Lennon poem tribute]
Extent: 40 pages
Publication: February 2015
Publisher: Earl of Seacliff Art Workshop
About the Book
Dr A.J.W. (Tony) Taylor is an Emeritus Professor of Pyschology at Victoria University of Wellington. He was the first professor of clinical psychology in the British Commonwealth, and is the author of over 300 publications, including his memoir Cockney Kid: the Making of an Unconventional Psychologist (Silver Owl Press, 2006). He became interested in the mass hysteria that The Beatles generated, and used the topic in 1964 as a class-exercise to get some facts when the ‘fab-four’ performed in Wellington during the eight-day tour of New Zealand.
Two interviews with Lennon he did in 1964 are in the book.
Curiosity around the 50th anniversary of the visit led him recently to search the journals for results of comparable studies that other psychologists might have made. His foray drew a blank, despite the huge social upheaval The Beatles had caused wherever they went. Disappointment encouraged him to restate the need for others to take up the study of mass-hysteria. Apart from the intrinsic value of the topic in today’s manipulative world, he is still keen to validate his results with those that other researchers might obtain with fans of contemporary musical groups.
Dr Michael O’Leary is a poet, artist and novelist, who, in his 2014 autobiography Die Bibel (ESAW), discussed the effect that The Beatles and particularly John Lennon had on his own decision to become an artist in whatever form that took in his life. After gaining his PhD in literature in 2011 he worked with a number of musicians to transform his poems into songs, thus bringing his writing and artistic career full circle. O’Leary’s poem tribute written after the death of Lennon concludes the book.
December 13, 2014
In the spirit of the Beatles who put out a Christmas record for their fans, Earl of Seacliff Art Workshop, the Poetry Archive of NZ Aotearoa (PANZA) and HeadworX offer to you, our friends and clients, this small token for your enjoyment.
Poems on football and cricket, Aztec Pyramids, the art of poetry, historical 19th century verse and an excerpt from Michael O’Leary’s recently published autobiography Die Bibel.
Contributors: Michael O’Leary, Rowan Gibbs, Harry W Emmet, F. W. Nielsen Wright, and Mark Pirie.
Download and view the free pdf of this book (file size 766KB):
May 20, 2014
Michael O’Leary recently contributed his drawing of Northern Irish footballer George Best (above) and a poem on the 1967 Manchester United visit to New Zealand to a special football issue of broadsheet: new new zealand poetry.
The issue edited by fellow poet/publisher Mark Pirie comprises a selection of football poetry from 1890-2014, focusing mainly on New Zealand football by New Zealand poets.
Others who’ve contributed include Gary Langford, Harry Ricketts, James Brown, John Gallas, John Dickson, Bill O’Reilly, Grant Sullivan, Harvey Molloy, Tim Jones, Dylan Groom and Pirie himself. Former New Zealand All White Michael Groom has written the foreword.
The Night Press, Wellington, has published the special issue to coincide with the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. It will be available from May online as a free download pdf as well as in a limited print edition. Website: http://broadsheetnz.wordpress.com
Here is Michael’s poem:
MANCHESTER UNITED VS AUCKLAND 1967
In 1967 the football club Manchester United played a game
Against an Auckland Eleven they were expected to tame
And although they did in the end win eight goals to one
Seeing ‘The Beatles’ of the football world was great fun
For as a teenager I had always preferred the round ball code
Rather than the rugger that ‘everybody else’ in New Zealand chose
And watching the ‘Beautiful Game’ in that ‘Summer of Love’
Brought music and sport together as if to finally prove
That a show in front of more than 26,000 at Carlaw Park
Watching Soccer could be like a rock concert where the spark
Of enthusiasm is ignited by an ultimate, primal, human desire
To belong, as in olden days when people gathered around a fire
Thus, the world’s most famous and celebrated sport was seen
In Auckland at a time of love and music and the world of dream
DB NZ Soccer Annual 1975: ‘Manchester United came to New Zealand, hammered both its opponents [Auckland 8-1 and NZ 11-0] and introduced soccer supremo George Best to the country. That United team had all the stars: Best, Charlton, Law, Stiles, Stepney, Aston, Foulkes, Crerand, Kidd … the list seemed endless.’ Charlie Dempsey was the director of tours for the NZFA and the AFA.
December 20, 2013
In the spirit of the Beatles who put out a Christmas record for their fans, Earl of Seacliff Art Workshop, HeadworX Publishers and the Poetry Archive of NZ Aotearoa (PANZA) would like to offer to you, our friends and clients, this small token for your enjoyment. Poems on All Black Kieran Read, retired NZ cricketer Chris Martin, pop hero John Lennon, the Wahine disaster, Christmas, cricket and more.
The cover artwork is by Michael O’Leary and features mythological Maori hero Maui controlling the sun.
You can download the free ebook from this website:
November 20, 2013
Title: Polynesian Legends
Author: A. Stanley Sherratt
Publisher: Earl of Seacliff Art Workshop/HeadworX Publishers
Release: November 2013
ISBN: 978-1- 86942-141-0
Extent: 44 pages
Category: NZ Poetry
Cover art: Māui controlling the sun by Michael O’Leary, 2013
About the Book
A. Stanley Sherratt’s powerful early sequence of Māori myths/legends has remained unpublished since 1924, when it was first serialized in the Christchurch Star.
Discovered in 2013 by editor Mark Pirie who has republished the text, this new publication includes an introduction by Māori literary scholar Dr Michael O’Leary, giving details of Sherratt’s life along with a brief history of Aotearoa legend telling in English.
About the Author
A. Stanley (Sherry) Sherratt b. 1891 was a Canterbury Railways clerk/official. He was educated and grew up in Kaiapoi, and afterwards spent much of his working life in Christchurch. Railways posted him to a number of places outside of Christchurch, including Invercargill, Greymouth and Kaiapoi from where he published his Polynesian Legends sequence.
During WWI, he served as a probationary officer in the territorial forces, Corps of New Zealand Engineers, New Zealand Railways Battalion (South Island).
Sherratt published the bulk of his poetry in the ChristchurchStar newspaper 1923-24, and was part of the Star group of poets 1922-26.
Stan Sherratt later retired to Nelson with his family.
Note: This is a joint publication between Earl of Seacliff and HeadworX.
You can download and view a free ebook version here:
TAWHIRIMATEA, THE STORM GOD (No. 2)
Out in the west see the clouds swiftly massing;
Feel the chill sting of the wind that is passing;
Hear the wild gulls as they wheel in the sky,
Warning us mortals with dolorous cry.
God of the tumults, Tāwhirimatea,
Father of storms, with destruction, is near
Seeking anew his great vengeance of old,
Smiting his brothers with tempest and cold.
Dark is his face in the sky with his wrath
Flashing, his eye, as the lightning springs forth—
Threat’ning and deep comes the thunder, his voice—
Shrieking, the winds, in their mad flight rejoice.
Great is the pow’r of the God of the storm;
Awful, his wrath, in its terrible form,
Wreak’d on his brothers for tearing apart
Rangi and Papa, those dear to his heart.
MAUI FALLS BEFORE HINE-NUI-TE-PO, GODDESS OF DEATH (No. 15)
Up ’mid the tow’ring mountains
White with snow,
Up where the swirling white mists
Up ’mid the dark cold peaks and
Goddess of Death was lying,
None had her cold dominions
None to her gloom steeped boundaries
Had been brought,
Never was need for her at
Watch to keep—
Nothing disturb’d her long and
Up from the world below
To this white realm of snow,
Māui came stealthily
To conquer Death;
Sturdy and bold was he,
And from all fear was free—
He would fight fearlessly
To his last breath.
Goddess of Death awoke,
Ere Māui made the stroke
That would have freed mankind
From Death’s great pow’r.
Māui was slain instead,
First of the sacred dead;
Honoured and great was he
To his last hour.
Up ’mid the tow’ring mountains
White with snow,
Up where the swirling white mists
Up where the dark cold peaks are
Goddess of Death sleeps not, but
Waits for all.
Poems © A. Stanley Sherratt
October 10, 2013
Michael recently drew an illustration (pen/pencil) for a new book cover. The book is a new publication from his publishing house Earl of Seacliff Art Workshop in conjunction with HeadworX Publishers, Wellington, New Zealand.
The drawing is of Māui controlling the sun (from the traditional Māori myth).
The book, edited by Wellington literary scholar/publisher Mark Pirie, is a sequence of Polynesian Legends c1924 previously uncollected and unpublished in book form by a forgotten Canterbury poet, Alfred Stanley Sherratt (1891-1977).
The book is expected to be launched later this year.
Poet/Māori literary scholar Vaughan Rapatahana wrote the following on Sherratt’s early treatment of Māori legends:
“Earl of Seacliff and Mark Pirie are to be commended for unearthing this valuable trove of Pākehā representations of Māori mythology and legend, not merely because they have never been committed to print in any sequential book format previously, but more especially because the representations contained within are manifestly without the devious elaborations and misguided romantic capital (Curnow, 1960) of many of Sherratt’s near contemporaries such as Domett. Indeed, Sherratt, for all his iambic pentameter and rhyming couplet, remains true to the Weltanschauung of the original and oral Indigenous élan of these mighty vignettes. Ka nui te pai te mahi kei konei!” – Vaughan Rapatahana
October 10, 2013
Michael O’Leary is pleased to announce the republication of his fiction books on the international Smashwords epublication site.
Click on these links to the Smashwords site, and Michael O’Leary’s fiction ebooks:
Straight: Dreamlander Express trilogy: Book 1
Unlevel Crossings: Dreamlander Express trilogy: Book 2
Magic Alex’s Revenge: Dreamlander Express trilogy: Book 3
Out of It: A Novel Cricket Novel
The Irish Annals of New Zealand: Novella
Before and After: Stories and Poems