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Categories: 21st Century, New Zealand
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Publisher: Carcanet Press
There are mothers and fathers, Kevin, whom we barely know.
They lift us. Eventually we all shall go
into the dark furniture of the radio.
The last lines of Bill Manhire's astonishing poem 'Kevin' lie at the heart of this book. These poems want urgently to know how the secular spirit can lift itself in the face of mortality and human violence. They are full of richness and courage and surprise, turning from grief to curiosity; then to beauty, humour, anger, gratitude, acceptance - and once again to curiosity. Lifted is a book by a poet writing at the height of his powers.
'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. Manhire's poems make us feel as if we are really there.' - Billy Collins, Dominion Post
'Manhire is in darkly brilliant form in this death-haunted but scintillating collection.' - Peter Simpson, New Zealand Herald (an NZ Herald 'Book of the Year')
Without Form 11
The God’s Journey 15
Song: Alzon 17
Across Brooklyn 18
The Ladder 19
Still Life with Wind in the Trees 25
The Writer 26
The First Film 28
After the Movie 29
Creative Nonfiction 30
The Party Next Door 31
Unusual Film Idea 32
An Inspector Calls 33
Hotel Belair 34
Erebus Voices 40
The Monks 42
My Childhood in Russia 44
Global Track 48
Two Literals 49
Entering America 50
Hotel Emergencies 51
The News 53
The Park 54
False William 56
Old Man Talking in His Sleep 58
Death of a Poet 62
The Confident Troubador 64
Palais Lutetia 65
Villa Ephrussi 66
Birds of Europe 72
Awards won by Bill Manhire Commended, 2020 Poetry Book Society Recommendation (Wow)
'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. ...Manhireâs poems make us feel as if we are really there.'
Billy Collins, Dominion Post Praise for Bill Manhire '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 ... 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.'
'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
We thank the Arts Council England for their support and assistance in this interactive Project.
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