'Nearly all the poems are strongly affecting emotionally, partly as a result of Oakman's unusual skill with last lines. These can turn quite suddenly in a new and disconcerting direction - or brutally sum up what we've just seen.'

Geoff Page


'These wry, compact elegies for lost souls, doomed worlds, vanished ideals double as powerful protests against the rationalisations and reductions of post-modernity.'

Ian Britain

'There is a gentle, but occasionally disconcerting, power in all Bruce Oakman’s poetry.

Peter Cundall

By trade I am an academic economist. I commenced writing poetry in 2006. Subsequently my work has been published in literary journals, magazines and newspapers in Australia, the UK and the USA

In May 2016 John Flaus and I launched our poetry CD, 'What did I know? John Flaus reads poems by BN Oakman'.


My second full-length poetry collection, Second Thoughts, (Interactive Press 2014), was launched before a large crowd at The Castlemaine Art Gallery on Sunday October 12. It is available through this website: email poetry@bnoakman.com  Second Thoughts was chosen as IP's  'Best Poetry Book of 2014'.

I was awarded a grant by the Literature Board of The Australia Council for 2009 and a chapbook, Chalk Dust: Poems from the Social Domain (Mark Time Books), appeared the same year. 

My first full-length collection of poems, In Defence of Hawaiian Shirts, was published by Interactive Press in 2010 and is available at: poetry@bnoakman.com

In 2011 the title poem of Chalk Dust was recorded for an ABC Classics CD, Peter Cundall Reads War Poetry.                                            


In 2013 Secret Heart: Fourteen Poems was published by Mark Time Books. It's also available at: poetry@bnoakman.com

I was a Pushcart Prize (USA) nominee for  2013.

I'm also a widely published and award winning short story writer. 

I strive to create poems that attract readers without trivialising complex issues or compromising the quality of the written word.

My interests include the history, literature and poetry of the Spanish Civil War and the political economy of increasing inequality and social disadvantage in Australia and other western democracies.

I restored a 1975 Citroen D series saloon, sometimes called  a 'Goddess' - a car described by the art critic Robert Nelson as one that 'couples dynamism with sensitivity: it is the closest a car will ever get to the condition of poetry'.  It was occasionally an infuriating irritant - not unlike the writing of poetry. After 22 years, and with a few regrets, I parted with this beautiful vehicle in 2018.

And in a persistent display of irrationality not normally associated with someone versed in the 'dismal science' of economics, I'm a long-term, card-carrying member of The Western Bulldogs Football Club. The membership book illustrated below pre-dates my birth-date by several years. I believe Seneca should be installed as patron philosopher of the club. I remain in shock after our 2016 triumph and believe I shall wake from a dream to find the AFL has contrived to find some excuse to confiscate  the premiership cup. After all, that's what the powerful and manipulative seem to too often do.  

But then normality was restored. The club failed to make the finals in 2017 and 2018, was unceremoniously eliminated in 2019 and 2020 and then was thrashed by Melbourne in the 2021 grand final. Stoicism, despite elevated expectations, remains a Dogs supporter's salient virtue.  


Before poetry, in obedience to Auden's edict (First secure an income), I taught economics, principally microeconomics and industry economics, in universities in Australia and England.

I live in Central Victoria with my partner, the analytical behaviourist psychologist, Dr Barbara Coish.

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