Bill Manhire was born in Invercargill, New Zealand in 1946. He was his country’s inaugural Poet Laureate and has won the New Zealand Book Award for Poetry four times. He headed the International Institute of Modern Letters at Victoria University of Wellington, establishing and directing the university’s prestigious creative writing programme. His volume of short fiction, South Pacific, was published by Carcanet in 1994. His poetry collections include Lifted (2007), and his Collected Poems (2001) and Selected Poems (2014). In 2018, he was made one of the Arts Foundation Icon Artists, an award given to only 20 living artists for their lifetime achievement and contribution to the arts in NZ.