Bill Manhire

Poet, short story writer, teacher
I live at the edge
of the universe,
like everybody else.
From 'Milky Way Bar' in Milky Way Bar, Victoria University Press, 1991
photo of Bill Manhire

Where to find it

By foot bridge near the Hikitia; slightly below ground level – no guard rails.
  • Wheelchair accessible

About the author

Bill Manhire was born in Invercargill, published his first poetry while at university in Dunedin, and his first collection in 1972 while at university in London.

He has lived in Wellington since he joined the English Department at Victoria University in 1973. Under his leadership, a 6-credit course called ‘Original Composition’ has developed into a renowned master’s course in creative writing. He was also instrumental in establishing Victoria University’s International Institute of Modern Letters, and in 2008 New Zealand’s first PhD programme in creative writing.

Manhire’s work is characterised by an extraordinary range in subject and style, a hyperawareness of nuance, and a wonderful mobility and suppleness in language, tone and mood.

As a practitioner and astute anthologist of poetry and fiction, and as a generous colleague of writers, he has played a leading role in the contemporary flowering of New Zealand literature.

With thanks to Victoria University of Wellington Te Herenga Waka