Bill Manhire was born in Invercargill, New Zealand. His mother was an Edinburgh high school teacher who married a New Zealand sailor during the Second World War, and so one day found herself a publican’s wife in New Zealand’s far south.
Manhire grew up in small pubs in Otago and Southland, and was educated at the Universities of Otago and London, where he did postgraduate research in Old Norse.
He was the founding director of the 30-year-old creative writing programme at the International Institute of Modern Letters (Victoria University of Wellington), and New Zealand’s inaugural poet laureate.
His books include Doubtful Sounds – essays and interviews (VUP, 2000), a Collected Poems (VUP/Carcanet, 2001), Lifted (VUP, 2005) and The Victims of Lightning (VUP, 2010). He has also published volumes of short stories, and has edited anthologies of poetry and short fiction, including The Wide White Page: Writers Imagine Antarctica (VUP, 2004).