Bill Manhire lives in Wellington, and is a freelance writer with a SuperGold Card. A short fiction collection, The Stories of Bill Manhire, recently appeared from Victoria University Press, who also publish his Selected Poems. A new book of poems, Some Things to Place in a Coffin, will be published in 2017.
These nine readings are all from a book called The Victims of Lightning (Victoria University Press 2010). ‘The Cave’ and ‘After Class’ are the first and last poems from the collection and in between there’s a fairly random sampling. Two of the pieces – ‘Buddhist Rain’ and ‘Warehouse Curtains’ – were written as song lyrics for Norman Meehan and Hannah Griffin. (The final performances are on the albums Buddhist Rain and Small Holes in the Silence.) ‘The Ruin’ is my shot at translating the Old English poem of the same name. In the original manuscript, the poem has been damaged by fire, and my version acknowledges that words – equally as much as buildings and people – are missing.