Mark Roper was born in England in 1951, moving to Ireland in 1980, since when he has lived in Tobernabrone, near Piltown, Co. Kilkenny.
His poetry collections include The Hen Ark (Peterloo, 1990), which won the 1992 Aldeburgh Prize for best first collection; Catching The Light (Peterloo, 1997); and The Home Fire (Abbey Press, 1998). Reviewing the latter for The Irish Literary Supplement, Bill Tinley described Roper as "one of the most accomplished and engaging poets writing in Ireland at present". Whereabouts was published in 2005 by Abbey Press & Peterloo; Even So: New & Selected Poems was published by Dedalus Press in autumn 2008. A new collection of poems, A Gather of Shadow, was published by Dedalus in the autumn of 2012.
The River Book: A Celebration of the Suir, a collaboration with the photographer Paddy Dwan, was published, to great acclaim, in October 2010. Mark is currently working on another project with Paddy Dwan, an exploration of the Backstrand, in Tramore, Co. Waterford. He has also worked on collaborative ventures with the photographer Margaret O’Brien-Moran, the painter Susan Hughes, the choreographer Libby Seward and the composer Eric Sweeney. The Invader, an opera composed by Eric Sweeney to a libretto by Mark Roper, is due to be premiered in 2014.
Mark was Editor of Poetry Ireland for 1999. He was the recipient of Arts Council Bursaries in 2010 and 2013. An experienced Creative Writing teacher, he is currently working in Adult Education in Waterford and Kilkenny. He has run courses and workshops in many different settings, including schools, prisons, and senior citizen centres. From September 2002 to May 2003 he was writer-in-residence at Waterford Regional Hospital.