Mary J. Oliver

Mary J. Oliver trained in the visual arts before switching to writing full time ten years ago. Her poems have appeared in many periodicals and anthologies in the UK and US. Competitions won include those judged by Paul Muldoon and Ruth Padel. Her first book, Jim Neat: The Case of a Young Man Down on His Luck, is due to be published this September.  In 2017, the original manuscript of Jim Neat was awarded 2nd prize in the New Welsh Writing Memoir Award. Five of the poems from it have been set to music for piano by the composer Judith Bailey. Oliver edits Piccolina, a poetry newsletter promoting live-poetry events in Cornwall, UK, and is chair of the Poetry Society’s Penzance Stanza Group. 


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Author Events

Friday 29th November, 10:00

10-3pm - Re: Memory - a full day drawing and writing workshop with writer Mary J. Oliver and artist Alessandra Ausenda.  7-9pm - Mary J. Oliver will read from her debut book Jim Neat, plus a screening of Alessandra Ausenda's work, followed by discussion.   Bookings for both events to be made through

Monday 11th November, 19:00

Join us at The Poetry Cafe in London for the official launch of Jim Neat by Mary J. Oliver and A Second Whisper by Lynne Hjelmgaard.  An evening of readings from both new books, followed by a Q & A chaired by Amy Wack.  More details coming soon.   About the books Jim Neat is an unusual and striking coalescing of prose, poetry, found documents and photographs. It ranges across the history of 20th century England and Canada as she uncovers the life of her father, Jim Neat (b. 1904). She adopts a legal structure, making ‘the case’ for the worth of Jim’s life in a fascinating memoir of a...

Thursday 7th November, 19:00

Mary J. Oliver and playwright, poet and storyteller Anna Murphy join Katrina Naomi for the Penzance Poetry Parlour. Doors open at 7pm, readings start at 7:30. Plus popcorn, cava and a Q & A.  Tickets: £6 on the door

Saturday 2nd November, 19:00

Mary J. Oliver and Lynne Hjelmgaard read from their new books Jim Neat and A Second Whisper at Broc Mor shop in Aberystwyth. They will be joined by local poet Chris Armstrong reading from his collection Mostly Welsh.

Saturday 12th October, 10:00
St Endellion

Mary J. Oliver will join Sean Thomas, Paul Fiddes​ and Natasha Carthew​ at the North Cornwall Book Festival for thier 'Cream of Cornish' event, a free cabaret of varied readings from the work of writers with a strong Cornish connection, compered by novelist Patrick Gale. This year our four writers with strong ties to Cornwall could hardly vary more. Bestselling Sean Thomas, who also writes as Tom Knox, reads from the latest of his psychological thrillers written as S K Tremayne. Newlyn-based Mary J. Oliver reads from her debut, Jim Neat, a traumatic memoir of Cornish pioneering. Distinguished...