"The voices of the characters in his novels never drop a note."
Barrie Sherwood, Author of Escape from Amsterdam (Granta Books 2007)
"What I enjoy about Mark Connors' poems is their moving blend of personal and the public subjects, their comic and their tragic voices and their straightforward honesty."
Antony Dunn, Author of Bugs (Carcanet/OxfordPoets 2009)
Mark Connors is a witty, challenging and bold writer. It's hard to shake off his memorable, defiant characters. Always an enjoyable read.
Mark Connors is an award winning writer and publisher from Leeds, UK. He has had over 280 poems published in anthologies, magazines and webzines. Mark's work has appeared in anthologies published by Smiths Doorstep, Grist, Ilkley Literature Festival, Indigo Dreams, Beautiful Dragons, Half Moon Books, Calder Valley Poetry, Stairwell Books, Civic Leicester and many others. Mark's poems have appeared in many poetry magazines, such as Poetry Salzburg Review, Envoi, Prole, The Interpreter's House, Ink, Sweat & Tears, Dream Catcher, Strix, Morning Star, Sarasvati, Dawn Treader, Confluence, Obsessed With Pipework and many other literary journals and magazines. His work has also been published widely in webzines, both in the UK and overseas.
Mark's debut poetry pamphlet, Life is a Long Song was published by OWF Press in 2015. His first full-length poetry collection, Nothing is Meant to be Broken, was published in 2017 by Stairwell Books. Mark's second poetry collection, Optics was published by YAFFLE in 2019. A collaborative collection, Reel Bradford (poems written by the five poets behind YAFFLE) was also published in 2019. After followed in 2021. Mark is currently working on a joint poetry collection of poems about New York with his wife, Gill Connors. It will be published in 2024.
Mark's debut novel, Stickleback, also now in its second edition, was published by Armley Press in 2016. The second edition features a recommendation on the front cover from the acclaimed poet and novelist, Helen Mort. Stickleback was Longlisted for The Guardian's Not the Booker Prize 2016.
Mark's second novel, Tom Tit and the Maniacs, was published by Armley Press in 2018. It was selected as one of Culture Vulture's Novels of 2018, alongside works by Jon McGregor and James Clarke.
Mark is currently hard at work on his third novel, The Town of the Fair. It will be published 2024. He is also working on a hybrid book of diary, memoir, travel writing and short fiction which will also chart Mark's writing life as an author, publisher and creative writing facilitator from 2022 to the end of 2024. The Art of Return will be published in Spring 2025 and will contain his fourth poetry collection, Skirr within its pages.
Mark's award winning short fiction has won him prizes and commendations at North London Literature Festival, Dartmoor Literature Festival and Otley Word Feast. Mark also won the prestigious open mic competition at Ilkley Literature Festival both in 2014 and 2015.
Mark runs poetry and novel writing workshops via Zoom and in real life, and for libraries, universities and literature festivals. Mark has also done writing workshops for publishers, such as Prole Books and Comma Press. With his partner Gill, they run their innovative prompt based workshop, WORDSHIP, both via Zoom and in various locations throughout the year, including The Old School Rooms in Haworth. They’ll be taking Wordship on the road again in 2024, to Ireland and Jersey. They also run workshops for submitting work to publishers and other themed seminars. WORDSHIP, a book of tried and tested poetry prompts from their workshops, will also be published in the near future and will contain work written by the poets who have attended Wordship and poems by those who have helped inspire the group along the way.
Mark and Gill run WORD CLUB with both poetry and prose nights throughout the year at various locations and on Zoom! WORD CLUB began in 2015 and will be hosted from their new home in 2024. They currently host regular events and book launches for their publisher, YAFFLE, which they run with their co-managing editor, Mike Farren. YAFFLE is now in its fifth year. They have published 37 poetry books to date and will be publishing novels and non-fiction titles from 2024. They run an annual competition called The YAFFLE Prize. A new imprint, YAFFLE's NEST was launched in 2023. Mark and Gill will publish work generated from their ongoing Collection and Pamphlet Courses, both in the UK and further afield.
To book Mark for a poetry reading, a novel reading, or a workshop, please contact him by email at email@example.com.