Comeragh: Mountain, Coum, River, Rumour, has just been sent to the printer! It is my third book with photographer Paddy Dwan, after The River Book and The Backstrand. It will be launched at The Theatre Royal, Waterford, on Saturday 29th September, by Carrie Crowley.
Tuesday 17th July, 8 pm, I will be giving a joint recital with composer and organist Eric Sweeney at the Church of the Assumption, Tullamore, as part of their International Summer Organ series. http://www.tisos.org/2018-series/words-and-music
Tuesday 3rd July, 6.45 pm, I will be reading at Cashel Library, with Grace Wells.
Wednesday 20th June, 8 pm, I will be giving a joint recital with composer and organist Eric Sweeney, as part of the Limerick Pipe Organ Festival. Venue, Sacred Heart Church, The Crescent.
Thursday 14th June, 7.15 pm, I will be reading at the Belfast Book Festival, with James Harpur and John F. Deane. Venue, The Crescent. belfastbookfestival.com/whats-on/the-poetic-line–james-harpur-mark-roper–john-f-deane
Tuesday 12th June, 2 pm, I will be reading for the students of the Carlow University Pittsburgh MFA Programme, at Trinity College, Dublin.
Sunday 10th June, 7 pm, I will be reading at the Carlow Arts Festival, with Jane Clarke, Maurice Devitt, Grace Wells and the Carlow Writers’ Co-Op. Venue, O’Hara’s Festival Pavilion, St. Patrick’s College.
Friday 1st June, 4 pm, I will be reading at Listowel Writers Week, with Caoilinn Hughes and Brian Kirk, in the Listowel Arms Ballroom. www.Michael Hartnett Poetry Event
Owl, a new poem, has been awarded 2nd Prize in the RSPB Rialto Poetry Competition. The Judge was Michael Longley. http://www.therialto.co.uk/pages/2018/05/01/nature-poetry-competition-2018-results
Sunday 6th May, 4 pm, I will be reading at the Strokestown International Poetry Festival, with Padraig Mac Fhearghusa and Mary Turley-McGrath. http://www.strokestownpoetry.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Programme-2018.pdf
Friday 4th May, 6.30 pm, I will be reading with Grace Wells at the Tudor Artisan Hub, 42 Main Street, Carrick-on-Suir, Co. Tipperary.
BINDWEED has been shortlisted for the Irish Times Poetry Now Award 2018. www.irishtimes.com/culture/books/irish-times-poetry-now-award-shortlist-revealed-1.3376524
READINGS CONFIRMED FOR 2018
10th January, Staccato, Toner’s, Baggott Street, Dublin.
14th February, Cork International Poetry Festival.
26th April, Molly Keane House, Ardmore, Co. Waterford.
4th May, The Hub, Carrick-on-Suir.
6th May, Strokestown International Poetry Festival.
1st June, Listowel Writers’ Festival.
10th June, Carlow Arts Festival.
12th June, Trinity College.
14th June, Belfast Book Festival.
20th June, Limerick, with organist Eric Sweeney.
3rd July, Cashel Library, with Grace Wells.
17th July, Tullamore, International Summer Organ series, with Eric Sweeney.
4th September, Limerick, Chez Le Fab Art Cafe, with Eric Sweeney.
29th September, Kilmore Quay, Write By The Sea Festival, Reading and Workshop.
29th September, Launch of Comeragh: Mountain, Coum, River, Rumour at The Theatre Royal, Waterford, by Carrie Crowley.
2nd December, Waterford, Granville Hotel, Waterford Archaeological and Historical Society Annual Lunch. Reading from Comeragh, with slide show from Paddy Dwan.
Paddy Kehoe, RTE Website, 12.12.2017. http://www.rte.ie/culture/2017/1211/926550-reviewed-bindweed-by-mark-roper
Catriona O’Reilly, The Irish Times, 13/1/2018. http://www.irishtimes.com/culture/books/poetry-competing-in-the-ghastly-attention-economy-1.3349642
Matthew Geden, Southword, January 2018. http://www.munsterlit.ie/Southword/Issues/33/reviews/geden_matthew_bindweed.html
Enda Wyley, Dublin Review Of Books, July 2018. http://www.drb.ie/essays/mending-after-the-fall?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=The%20Dublin%20Review%20of%20Books%20July%202018&utm_content=The%20Dublin%20Review%20of%20Books%20July%202018+CID_1c1c52d044464e673b7edacb229d022f&utm_source=Email%20marketing%20software&utm_term=Mending%20after%20the%20Fall
BINDWEED was launched in Waterford on 21st October 2017, by the poet James Harpur. Available from https://dedaluspress.com/product/bindweed/
THE GREEN ONE, 2016
The Green One, the second collaboration between Mark Roper and Eric Sweeney, was performed in Christ Church Cathedral, Waterford, on the evenings of Friday 28, Saturday 29, Sunday 30 October, 2016.
The Green One is a re-telling of the ancient Middle Eastern myth of Ishtar, Goddess of the Earth, and her sister Allatu, Goddess of the Underworld – a story which underlies the Christian story of the Easter Resurrection. Ishtar, after having the mortal boy Tammuz murdered, descends to the Underworld to try to bring him back. To pass through its seven gates, she must shed seven garments. Once there, she pleads with her sister for the return of Tammuz. At last she succeeds, but only on the condition that he will return to the Underworld for 6 months every year …. The opera highlights the fragility of human hope, forever at the mercy of the capricious and irreconcilable forces of life and death. Tammuz, the mortal boy, seems to be the helpless victim of these forces. But it is Tammuz who finds the compromise between them, which we have learnt to express as the cycle of the seasons. And it is Tammuz, at the last, who prays: O Sister Breath, O Sister Death, O let me love you both.
A film of The Green One is available on Youtube. The film was made by Keith Currans. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ANW3kXS024U
THE INVADER, 2014
The Invader was performed on Thursday 22nd, Friday 23rd and Saturday 24th May 2014 at the Theatre Royal, Waterford, and at Wexford Opera House on Friday 30th May.
The libretto is based on The Bacchae, a play by the Greek dramatist Euripides. It’s a visceral, elemental story, in which the God Dionysus returns to the city of Thebes to take his revenge on King Pentheus, who has failed to pay due respect to the God’s shrine. Dionysus charms the women of Thebes out of the city into the forest and turns them into the Bacchae, wild creatures who will eventually tear Pentheus to pieces. The play has fascinated the imagination from the start. There have been at least 3 operas based on it, including one with a libretto by W.H. Auden. The poets Derek Mahon and C.K. Williams have made translations, and Ted Hughes worked on one. My libretto is not a translation, it is best described perhaps as a version of the story. My aim was to create a vehicle for the music of course, but also to create a vehicle for dramatic spectacle. Ben Barnes’s production is perhaps best described as Musical Theatre.
The Invader was highly praised in all national newspapers, and won a number of awards, including Outstanding Performance of the Year in the Waterford News and Star as well as awards for Best Musical Director, Best Choreographer and Best Opera Director.
Links to 2 reviews:
An RTE Television news clip about the opera can be seen at
A filmed version of The Invader is now available on Vimeo, in 2 parts, from the 2 links below. There is no interval, just go from the end of Part 1 to the start of Part 2. The film was taken on a single, fixed camera, at the penultimate dress rehearsal.