Monday, November 19, 2007

Manhire, Bill

Bill Manhire (b. 1946)


Contemporary New Zealand Poets in Performance (2007):

The Old Man’s Example
On Originality
Visiting Mr Shackleton
A Song about the Moon

Aotearoa NZ Poetry Sound Archive (2004):


1. Domestic
2. On Originality
3. Visiting Mr Shackleton
4. Miscarriage
5. Valedictory
6. A Song about the Moon

New Zealand Poets Read Their Work (1974):

LP 1, side 1

The Old Man’s Example
The Spell
The Prayer

Waiata Archive (1974):

CD 4

The Old Man’s Example
The Oreti River
The Poetry Magazine
Riddle – The Heart
Riddle – Bad Luck
Long Poem
The Proof
The Elaboration
Your Absence
The Spell
The Prayer
The Voyage
A Death in the Family
Last Sonnet
The Importance of Personal Relationships
The Proposition
On Originality

Bio / Bibliography:

Bill Manhire is a Wellington poet, short story writer, editor, anthologist and academic. Born in Invercargill in 1946, he grew up in small towns in Southland and Otago before moving with his family to Dunedin. He attended Otago Boys’ High School, and, later, the University of Otago, where he took a BA in English. After graduating, Manhire enrolled in the department of Scandinavian Studies at University College, London, where he studied Old Icelandic. In 1973, after receiving his M.Phil., he returned to New Zealand to take up a lectureship in the English Department at Victoria University, Wellington.

While a student at Otago, Manhire had had his first poems published in the Otago University Literary Review and formed links with the Dunedin art and literary scenes. A friendship with the painter Ralph Hotere led to their collaborating on Malady (1970), Manhire’s first book, and the formation of the Amphedesma Press, which published a number of small volumes by New Zealand poets in the early 1970s. (Manhire ran the press - in partnership with Kevin Cunningham - while living in London as a student.) He has since produced thirteen further volumes of poetry, a ‘choose your own adventure’ novel, The Brain of Katherine Mansfield (1988), and a collection of essays and interviews, Doubtful Sounds (2000). He has also published numerous reviews and articles and edited a number of anthologies. In 1983, he took over the ‘original composition’ course at Victoria; it has since expanded into a high-profile graduate programme offering an MA in creative writing. Since 2001, this has been run under the auspices of the International Institute of Modern Letters, of which Manhire is co-director. He has won the New Zealand Book Award four times, and in 1997 was named New Zealand’s inaugural Poet Laureate. In 2004, he was awarded the Katherine Mansfield Fellowship to Menton.


Malady, Dunedin: Amphedesma Press, 1970
The Elaboration: Poems, (with drawings by Ralph Hotere), Wellington: Square & Circle, 1972
How to Take Your Clothes Off at the Picnic, Wellington: Wai-te-ata Press, 1977
Dawn, Water, Wellington: Hawk Press, 1979
Good Looks, Auckland: Auckland University Press, 1982
Zoetropes: Poems, 1972-82, Wellington: Port Nicholson Press, 1984
Milky Way Bar, Wellington: Victoria University Press, 1987
My Sunshine, Wellington: Victoria University Press, 1996
Sheet Music: Poems 1967-1982, Wellington : Victoria University Press, 1996
What to Call Your Child, Auckland: Godwit, 1999
Collected Poems, Wellington: Victoria University Press, 2001


The Brain of Katherine Mansfield, Auckland: Auckland University Press, 1988
South Pacific, Manchester: Carcanet, 1994
Songs of My Life, Auckland: Godwit, 1996
Doubtful Sounds: essays and interviews, Wellington: Victoria University Press, 2000

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