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Wow

Bill Manhire

Cover of Wow by Bill Manhire
10% off all versions
Categories: 21st Century, New Zealand
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Available as:
Paperback (88 pages)
(Pub. Oct 2020)
9781800170049
£10.99 £9.89
eBook (EPUB) Needs ADE!
(Pub. Oct 2020)
9781800170056
£8.79 £7.91
eBook (Kindle)
(Pub. Oct 2020)
9781800170063
£8.79 £7.91
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  • Description
  • Author
  • Awards
  • Reviews
  • A Poetry Book Society Winter 2020 Recommendation
    A White Review Book of the Year 2020

    Bill Manhire's Wow opens with the voice of an extinct bird, a song from anciency, and takes us forward into the present and the darkening future of other extinctions. For Manhire, the reach of the lyric is long: it has the penetration of comedy, satire, the Jeremiad, but also the delicacy of minute detail and the rhythms of nature's comfort and hope, the promise of renewal. In the title poem the baby says 'Wow', and the wonder is real at the world and at language. But the world will have the last word.

    Writing of Manhire, Teju Cole declared, 'Being the leading poet in New Zealand is like being the best DJ in Estonia, impressive enough on its own terms. But Bill Manhire is more than that: he's unquestionably world-class. As with Seamus Heaney, you get a sense of someone with a steady hand on the tiller, and both the will and the craft to take your breath away.'

    Bill Manhire was New Zealand's first poet laureate. He established and until recently directed the International Institute of Modern Letters at Victoria University of Wellington. This is the ninth of his Carcanet books in 30 years. They include a Selected and a Collected Poems.
    Bill Manhire was born in Invercargill, New Zealand in 1946. He was his country's inaugural Poet Laureate and has won the New Zealand Book Award for Poetry four times. He headed the International Institute of Modern Letters at Victoria University of Wellington, establishing and directing the university's prestigious creative writing programme. ... read more
    Awards won by Bill Manhire Commended, 2020 Poetry Book Society Recommendation (Wow)
    'Bill Manhire's poetry is always lyrical whether the lyricism is the lyricism of the ballad or the lyricism he finds in ordinary, unmetred New Zealand conversational speech. Sometimes it seems as if you can hear a poem tuning up, finding its rhythm before it turns itself into song. As it lifts into song, it lifts, too, into meaning... when a Manhire poem takes flight, and when loneliness is taken for a stroll, the epic vision that the lyric can also, he shows, give rise to is all the more resonant and all the larger for being distilled into song.'

    Anna Jackson, Academy of New Zealand Literature


    'Though Manhire is full of foreboding about the future, he mixes the serious with the playful across a range of short, experimental poems... This is a poet who shares his learning with an appealing accessibility and ease'

    Tom Williams, Literary Review

    'Read Wow and you get story and song, light and dark, the surreal, constant surprise, but there is also always wit and humour ... Wow will haunt you'

    NZ Poetry Shelf 

    'Wow offers further intriguing snapshots and glimpses, sometimes half-familiar but never monotonous... Here the light mist over everything teases you with where you are and what's what. Things constantly shift and change shape and being, even as you seem to have grasped them.'

    Newsroom

    'Being the leading poet in New Zealand is like being the best DJ in Estonia, impressive enough on its own terms. But Bill Manhire is more than that: he's unquestionably worldclass. As with Seamus Heaney, you get a sense of someone with a steady hand on the tiller, and both the will and the craft to take your breath away.'
    Teju Cole, Boston Globe
    Praise for Bill Manhire 'Manhire changes tack in every poem, coming at us with different techniques and different personae. It's a marvellously varied performance...Lifted is a short book, but few readers will be able to take it all in at a single sitting. It demands -and rewards- re-reading.'
    Iain Sharp, Sunday Star Times
    'The biggest noise in New Zealand poetry is Bill Manhire... Manhire has always known how to look at the human condition and state it simply through his poems. 'Lifted' is confident and emotive in what it tries to achieve. ...'Lifted' is shining stuff from truly one of our best poets. Definitely check this one out.'
    Hamesh Wyatt, Otago Daily Times
    'Turning the pages of 'Lifted', no reader can fail to be surprised and delighted by the variety of voices and tones... Manhire shows not only his mature formal skills but his ability to look unflinchingly into the heart of things. He is a poet in which a sly sense of humour is coupled with a respect for whatever truths a poem can wring out of experience. ...Manhire’s poems make us feel as if we are really there.'
    Billy Collins, Dominion Post
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