Bill Manhire

These three new poetry collections are works by established poets at the top of their game in terms of poetic craft and the honing of insights into both life and art. These are voices developed across a significant number of previous collections, allowing for an emergence of innovation, confidence, and ease of style and mood.

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Poetry books that focus on memory, recuperation, and loss are common, but it is rare to find poems that speak about such matters as sparely and eloquently as these do. Bill Manhire’s new poems are bony and sinewy, resonating with an awareness of public and personal grief. Although these works often speak by indirection, many of them pack a real punch. As Manhire p ...

Before I knew about poetry it would have been the Grimms, plus Orson Welles reading ‘The Happy Prince’. Then R.A.K. Mason, Carl Sandburg, Robert Creeley – at which point I developed a taste for clunkiness, awkwardness, tonal non sequiturs, all the way from Wyatt, Hardy, and the weirder parts of Browning, to Frank O’Hara and Stevie Smith. My poetry tastes have always been pretty chaotic: in my reading universe, Lorine Niedecker, John Betjeman, Adrienne Rich, and the Beowulf poet all rub along together.

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In this episode of 'Poem of the Week' Bill Manhire reads 'Indexing Emily'. ABR Editor, Peter Rose, introduces Bill who then reads and discusses his poem.

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The dead gaze back across their special days:
cloud above clover, crisis above the crow ...
Such new horizons, yet they still approach. ...

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