'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

B N Oakman, formerly an academic economist, commenced writing poetry in 2006. Subsequently his work has been published in literary journals, magazines and newspapers in Australia, the UK and the USA.  

Bruce's 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

He 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. 

His first full-length collection of his poems, In Defence of Hawaiian Shirts, was published by Interactive Press in 2010  and is available at:

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:

His work was nominated for The Pushcart Poetry Prize (USA) 2015.

Bruce is also an  award-winning and widely published short story writer. 

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

His interests include the history, literature and poetry of the Spanish Civil War (see 'La Cuenta' in 'Poems' on this website) and the political economy of inequality and social disadvantage.

He restored, and now maintains, 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'.

And in a persistent display of irrationality not normally associated with someone versed in the 'dismal science' of economics, he's a long-term, card-carrying member of The Western Bulldogs Football Club. The membership book illustrated below pre-dates his birth-date by several years.


Bruce lives in Central Victoria with the analytical behaviourist psychologist Barbara Coish. He has taught economics at universities in Australia and in England.

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