Mark Connors - Optics

Mark Connors - author and poet

Ilkley Literature Festival's Open Mic winner for 2014 and 2015!

"Mark Connors and his aimless fat heart dance through their half a century with poems slant to an eclectic mix of songs. It's an eventful and often spiky trip, from the moment Milo falls into a dog's water bowl in the pub. The poems are packed with vivid imagery, that fuse the personal, social and political. The locations are varied and always convincing and battle scars are proudly worn – some in celebration, some in sorrow, some in anger - all of them with passion. Go on, treat yourself. Where else will you find The Specials following on from Mozart, or poems inspired by the songs of The Carpenters and Napalm Death? "
Martin Figura


Available from Yaffle Press from 7th November. £11.50 inc postage (UK only). For overseas rates, please email

"Humour, nature and music bump up against one another in this eclectic collection. I was immediately hooked because the poems take their titles from songs. Connors has a way of describing nature that takes you right there and made this city girl yearn for the hills. These are accomplished poems that encompass many themes: nature, love, death, mental health, politics, climate change... and Connors is not afraid of the trappings of modern life. There is a playful nostalgia at work here too, and throughout it all a subtle humour. It's a skilful poet that starts a poem humorously and goes on to talk of suicide. A highly enjoyable read." Julia Webb

"'After' hangs 50 years of a poet's life on our walls, via a nostalgic poetic tapestry of personal, public and musical history, cleverly woven with a luminous thread. There's theatre here, a sensory smorgasbord there. From the minutiae of quotidian observations to the big-ticket, world-turning, cymbal-crash of life splashed Pollock-style across the page, this book runs the gamut of emotions. Revolving around an axis of imperfect humanity and human flaws, this is an engrossing and sonically beautiful collection." Laura Taylor

After Readings 2021

Sunday 11th December - WORD CLUB Christmas Do - 3 pm • The Chemic Tavern, Woodhouse, Leeds LS6 5NG

Wednesday 1st December - WORDSPACE - 8 pm • The Hop Shack, Horsforth, Leeds LS18 4QD

Wednesday 24th November - Via Zoom - 7 pm • Joint online YAFFLE Launch with Ben Banyard

Sunday 21st November - Runcible Spoon - 4 pm • New Inn, 18 Elland Road, Morley LS27 7NS

Sunday 21st November - Via Zoom - 1pm • Tina Cole's online YAFFLE Launch of 'Forged'

Saturday 6th November • The Old School Rooms, Church Street, Haworth BD22 8DR

Sunday 3rd October • The Poetry Pharmacy, 36 High Street, Bishop's Castle, Shropshire SY9 5BQ