One of New Zealands most important poets, Bill Manhire is also known internationally as a teacher of creative writing. In the small spaces left between teaching and writing, Bill also finds time for reading and in this case, about one of his favourite placesAntarctica.
The Wide White Page is the kind of book only a real enthusiast would compile. Hes searched far and wide for the best fictional accounts of Antarctica, and mined such rich imaginative veins as Dantes Death of Ulysses, Ursula Le Guins Sur and Monty Pythons Scott of the Sahara. With an intelligent and entertaining introduction, The Wide White Page mostly makes room for authors who have never been to Antarctica. Bill however has been, and has even spent 45 semi-heroic minutes at the South Pole.
Bill Manhires many books include his Collected Poems (VUP and Carcanet, 2001), Doubtful Sounds: Essays and Interviews (VUP, 2000), and his memoir of growing up in the pubs of New Zealands South Island, Under the Influence (Four Winds Press, 2003). After a lifelong fascination with Antarctica, Bill visited the frozen continent as part of the inaugural Antarctica New Zealand Artists to Antarctica expedition in 1998camping in the Dry Valleys and alongside Shackletons hut at Cape Royds, and visiting the South Pole. Bill is the director of the International Institute of Modern Letters at Victoria University, Wellington, New Zealand. In 2004 he has been the Meridian Energy Katherine Mansfield Memorial Fellow in Menton, France.
Praise for The Wide White Page
...an excellent anthology which fills a real gap. Many of these selections will be new even to the most knowledgeable Antarctican.
This is a marvellously unpredictable book, from a man who must have read almost everything written about Antarctica, from the brilliant to the excruciatingly awful and who plucked a piece from many of them, including the title of the "very bad" novel, The Wide White Page, from which he took the name for this fascinating collection.
Carroll du Chateau NZ HERALD
...amusing and provocative.
Iain Sharp SUNDAY STAR TIMES
A treasure trove of fiction about Antarctica, this collection is the result of years of research by Manhire who, in his usual way has not put a foot wrong ... great to dip into, and a tribute to the imaginative power of that frozen expanse.
Margie Thomson HERALD ON SUNDAY