Tuesday, March 25, 2008
SONGS OF MY LIFE
Mention Bill Manhire's name to anyone and they immediately think poetry. He is after all one of NZ's leading poets, widely published and much anthologised.
But he is also a very fine exponent of the short story as I discovered when I recently came across this collection of short pieces published originally by Carcanet Press in the UK in 1994 and by Godwit Publishing in NZ two years later. Alas both editions are now out of print.
Since those days Manhire has won many further awards, (he is a four time winner of the NZ Book Award for Poetry), he was the inaugural Te Mata Estate Poet Laureate, he is the Director of the International Institute of Modern Letters, and enjoys a high profile as one of our leading men of letters.
Methinks Victoria University Press or some other serious publisher should look at bringing this
entertaining and thoughtful volume back into print perhaps with a few recently written additions.
Here is what the New York Times Book review had to say about Songs of My Life on publication:
In this collection of sixteen stories, Bill Manhire turns inventive imagery and form to great advantage.The collection as a whole commands attention through MrManhire's worldly irreverent vision. His voice is appealingly restless and seriously funny.