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Mark Niel

Updated: Thu, 24 Jan 2013 01:19 am

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Mark Niel is a full time poet and the official Poet Laureate of Milton Keynes. Starting out on the Open Mic circuit (with the aid of Write out Loud's Gig Guide) his funny, energetic performance style quickly found an audience. Mark has won many Slams including Ledbury, Wenlock and Bristol Poetry Festivals and has appeared at Latitude, Green Man and Wychwood Festivals. In May 2012, he was the Poet in Residence for BBC Radio 2's "2Day" and was commissioned by them to write a poem celebrating the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. Mark gigs on the poetry and comedy circuit, runs workshops in schools and companies, appears as a guest speaker at WIs, Rotary Clubs, after dinner engagements and on Cruise Ships. Mark is believed to be the first poet to reach the final of the New Act of the Year Competition (NATYS) and is currently on a tour with The AntiPoet called "Rythmn Method". Quotes "Rising Poetry Star" BBC Radio 2 “Beautifully performed” Miriam Margolyes “The audience was in hysterics” Petersfield Herald “Ignited the space with his comedic stanzas” Rum Punch, Partnas in Rhyme “A Bravura Performance” Buxton Fringe Review


Dawn You lied about your age, Your weight and your shoe size. I found out too late To halt our demise. Half truths and whoppers Comprised your diction. No facts, just fantasy And falsehoods and fiction. This dress? Just ten pounds, Bought in a sale. If your nose was Pinocchio’s It would run off the scale. You deceived and destroyed me At every wrong turn. Took wallet and dignity And left me, heartburned. So I’m both broke and broken At the first light of morn. In more than one way, You were another false Dawn The Day the World Died The day the world died Nations gathered For the will to be read. It turned out the meek DID inherit the earth, But they asked for the money instead. Symptoms of Love Heart and pulse racing, My palms damp and sweaty. I feel like my legs Have turned to spaghetti. Tight chest, breathlessness, A bitter miasma. I saw the doctor. It’s not love, it’s asthma. I didn’t know I didn’t know there should have been stars Until I kissed you. I didn’t know a breath should be missed Until I kissed you I didn’t know your heart should stop beating, One fleeting moment Until I kissed you I didn’t know. I do now. Half Life Day (9 July, 2008) 9 July was the day when I had been in love with my wife for exactly half my life (8,137 days). Dark, dark and dark the night as we walked, squeezing the last moments from the weekend before work usurped our time. Bright, bright and bright the stars that pinpricked the velvet indigo and eavesdropped our whispered intimacies. Soft, soft and soft your face I held as creeping certainty came calling. Sweet, sweet and sweet your kiss as together falling from casual romance to soul certain permanence. Impromptu proposal met with a breathless “Yes”. Quick, quick and quick the years once constant companion now distant acquaintance taking our moments, for souvenirs Cold, cold and cold the days when sorrow shared our souls. rain cloud shadow a weeping canopy blocking the sunlight Hard, hard and hard the words at times as edge on edge we smoothed and shaped each other fashioning a better fit. Deep, deep and deep the love that remains ingrained making one from two. So I stand on Half Life Day the man I am, because of you.

All poems are copyright of the originating author. Permission must be obtained before using or performing others' poems.

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<Deleted User> (9714)

Thu 22nd Sep 2011 00:20

Was just recommending your Poetry Slam enthusiasm of a few years ago to some people wanting to wake up a village community with events ideas - have moved there in last few months. Looked you up to see where located if they replied - and what a super surprise to see how you have hit the heights! Congratulations!

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Mark Niel

Thu 2nd Jun 2011 10:57

Thanks Isabel for your kind words. I'd be delighted to come and perform in the North West. I'm fairly busy in June and July but I'll look out for opportunities from August. If you know anyone who is looking for poets, I'd love to hear from them.

Best wishes


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Thu 2nd Jun 2011 09:52

Enjoyed reading your profile poems - a man in touch with his emotions as well as a sense of humour - wonderful! You'll have to drag your but up north and perform for us one day :-) x

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Mon 1st Jun 2009 10:43

enjoyed your performance last night ,
in fact the whole evening went well . :) i dont know who the organiser is , so cannot pass on my regards , however , i do have a facebook account ;)

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Chris Dawson

Mon 1st Jun 2009 08:09


Really enjoyed your set at Leamington last night. Will definitely try to make it to MK at some point!

Thank-you for a good evening,


<Deleted User> (5225)

Wed 23rd Jul 2008 07:18

Hi Mark,

Great to have some humour. Keep up the good work
Best wishes

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Mark Niel

Fri 11th Jul 2008 13:57

Thank you Janet for your kind welcome and kissing tips. Always nice to meet an expert!


<Deleted User> (5646)

Fri 11th Jul 2008 12:42

Better start learning how to breathe through your nose when kissing mate.
Ha ha!
Sorry, couldn't resist. These are great little samples. Laughter in the first one and the finding of new love in the second.
ps. welcome to the site.

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