MARK NIEHUS
BIO
After studying creative writing in London Mark published his first book of poems in 2008, How Do You Want the Fire to Leave You? Since then Mark has been involved in several exhibitions, including, South Australian Living Artist Festival and Adelaide Fringe Festival, participated in the Melbourne Emerging Writers Festival, was the feature author in Australian Reader, October 2010 and recently published in Rabbit Poetry Journal. Mark has continued to write steadily, finishing a second book for publication in early 2014 and is now working on his third book. Other forms of expression include, recording poetry to his original music, the integration of poetry and visual art and spoken word performances. Most recently Mark has extended my poetry and visual art beyond the page, gallery and stage to the street, completing three funded public art projects that integrated his poetry and Street Art with a series of paste up murals in Adelaide City Council and two large painted Street Art Murals in the Prospect Memorial Gardens and Holden Street Theatre.
ARTICLE BY BEN ADAMS
Mark Niehus is a poet who anchors words on the exploration of self, but not just his own. “We are all born / and thrown against this world,” declares the opening poem of his first book. “And everything is  normal to someone, / something you hate / someone loves. / Something you disbelieve / someone would die for. / The ugly is beautiful, / the feared are faithful / and nothing is something / to someone / somewhere.” Conversation and discovery are the basis of Mark's approach to experience in art, poetry and life; moving at the heart of things with a thought, an image; the right question asked, in something like the right way, over drinks at that bar you know.

But the social rests on a solitary foundation, those questions asked of oneself before they can be directed outwards. This personal introspection, a kind of philosophical reflection, forms a basis for the ongoing conversation of Mark's poetry between inner and outer worlds. “How do you take the arrangements / in your mind,” he writes, “and make it all play out in this / disenchanted world?” This is the challenge Mark confronts through art, where arrangements and ideas of the mind are expressed though poetry and combined, sometimes, with illustration or installation pieces; love for the felt, tactile mechanics of pianola scrolls and old typewriters. But the words remain his focus, hammered into pages, hanging in the air and hoping for a place to land, spoken in earnest, in jest, questioning, almost never refuting, open in his effort to keep up with the days. “It's twenty one zero seven / and the ages are far from perfect,” Mark writes, “and / it's mine to shout at / so I shout / because time was shown its guts once / and is still creating.”

Mark is still creating and has been steadily for the past several years. In 2007 the full epic poem “20-1-07” was featured in Brigid Noone's Fringe group exhibition Intent, displayed on a single length of typewriter paper suspended from ceiling to desk. The show placed Mark alongside ten other artists working in a variety of mediums including light, projections, photography, painting, sculpture and sound, plus fellow writer Lachlan Pierce. Mark's début collection of poetry  How Do You Want the Fire to Leave You? appeared in 2008 and was followed by a progression of exhibitions, online publications & audio experimentation with his 'words to music' efforts: wide-ranging combinations of the visual, written and spoken word.

Mark was part of the Format Collectives group art show Big! in June 2009 and featured author for the online journal Australian Reader in  October 2010. During 2011 Mark produced a selection of material pieces for sale, like poems write-punched onto antique piano scrolls and 'Postcard Poetry' featuring the experiences of a lonely, hopeful, endearing wanderer named Guff, who seems to reflect Mark's own view of the poet's uncertain relationship with his world. “You are not of your time,” one reads, “when the feeling of the world / is in your room / with your suitcase against the door. / Your revolution is in your hand.”

Running with that feeling, Mark  achieved several important milestones in 2012. From March, he spent several months as 'Poet In Residence' at Zuma Caffe, in the Adelaide Central Markets. He'd already written in the market café for several years, settling down for a number of hours most days before work. But the residency drew some extra attention to Mark's public workspace, complete with 1954 Oliver typewriter. Set up amid the poster-covered brick and old-world produce stalls, he typed poems and chatted with interested passers-by, continuing to chase “a rolling / perpetual need / that asks for just enough / to keep you moving on.” You can often still find Mark bunkered down somewhere in the markets, typing up new material and throwing back coffees, though his exact location can shift from day to week and month. Following this residency, Mark launched his first solo exhibition in August 2012 as part of SALA, the South Australian Living Artists festival. The Individual saw a variety of Mark's poems imprinted within beautifully framed visual pieces, encompassing fictional characters and expressionistic designs that blend word and image as the pen goes out instinctually over paper.

From stints as both creative writing student and professional web designer in London, to Adelaide postal worker and published writer plus untold travelling along the way, Mark's creative fuel has been gathered from a wide geography. His work continues to expand its range, drawing on thought, instinct, experience and introspection to engage with both self and other, an ongoing conversation that will continue to interrogate the human condition, from its predictable mechanics to passing moments of fire and beauty.

ACHIEVEMENTS
WEST SIDE
PLACE MAKERS GRANT
City of Charles Sturt 2015

PUBLIC ART GRANT
City of Prospect 2015

PUBLIC ART GRANT
Adelaide City Council 2015

SPOKEN WORD SA
Adelaide City Library
Poet in Residence 2015

ADELAIDE FRINGE FESTIVAL
Objectwords 2015

AUSTRALIAN POETRY,
CAFE POET PROGRAM

Residency at Zed’z Cafe, Adelaide Central Markets. READ MORE

DOCUMENTARY
Streetfair Productions ‘The Busker Project’ documentary focusing on my busking poet residencey at Zedz Cafe at the Adelaide Central Market

UNILIFE MAGAZINE
Poetry published with an interview by Ilona Wallace from UniLife Magazine

PUBLISHED IN RABBIT JOURNAL
A recording of 'THE INDIVIDUAL' read to my original music published on a CD that accompanied Issue#7 of Rabbit Poetry Journal

THE INDIVIDUAL
SALA EXHIBITION

A solo exhibition of poetry intergrated with illustration.

INTERVIEW PUBLISHED
SA WRITERS NEWSLETTER

Interview by Ben Adams

FEATURE AUTHOR
AUSTRALIAN READER

Feature author in Australian Reader.

FORMAT+2%=BIG!
Adelaide, Mixed Media Installation

Format+2%=Big! A collaboration between the Format Collective and the 2% group consisting of over 50 artists.

EMERGING WRITERS FESTIVAL
Melbourne, Page Parlour

Participant in ‘Page Parlour’, a Zine Fair promoting independent publications’

MOMENTS VERSUS MOMENTUM
Rotterdam, the NetherlandsA collaboration with Dirk Vroeman from Rottadam, combining his photographs with my poetry

FRINGE FESTIVAL
Adelaide, Format

Participant of Zine Fair

PUBLICATION
Publication of my collection of poems, How Do You Want The Fire To Leave You?

SPRING ART EXHIBITION
Adelaide, Mixed Media Installation

I appered along with 100 established and emerging South Australian artists, from classical to contemporary, indigenous to sculpture

FRINGE FESTIVAL - INTENT
Adelaide, Mixed Media Installation

Queens Theatre Adelaide, Mixed Media Installation