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Jeffrey Wainwright

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  • Jeffrey Wainwright was born in Stoke-on-Trent in 1944 and was educated locally and at the University of Leeds. He has taught at the University of Wales, Long Island University in Brooklyn and for many years at the Manchester Metropolitan University where he was Professor in the Department of English and its Writing School until 2008.

    His first poetry collection was published by Northern House in 1971 and first full book, Heart’s Desire, by Carcanet in 1978. Carcanet Press also publish his Selected Poems (1985), The Red-Headed Pupil (1994), Out of the Air (1999) and Clarity or Death! (2008). He has translated plays by Péguy, Claudel and Corneille for BBC Radio 3 and his version of Bernard-Marie Koltès’ In the Silence of Cotton Fields was broadcast in March 1999. The play has subsequently been performed by the Actors Touring Company and published by Methuen.

    Jeffrey Wainwright has published widely on poetry, including Poetry: The Basics (Routledge 2004) and his book on the poetry of Geoffrey Hill, Acceptable Words (Manchester University Press, 2005).

    Author photo: Henry Home

    'There are some lovely individual poems here, like 'Spring Walk'€™, 'Seascape' and 'The Window-Ledge'. But best are the poems of loss and change, about growing up in the Potteries after the War'
    Andy Croft, The Morning Star
    'Many of these quiet poems have a disproportionately unsettling effect... This is work that comes from slow attention, proper effort and commitment to understanding.'
    Steve Hanson, Manchester Review of Books
     'What Must Happen is at once a lyrical meditation on the nature of history and on ourselves as perceiving subjects in a world of objects and other species. It ranges confidently across different geographies and societies  from working lives in Josiah Wedgewood's Etruria in the Potteries to the example of the Eternals: Jupiter, Venus, and Apollo. Combining sinuous intelligence with humanity and compassion, Jeffrey Wainwright's latest collection puts him at the forefront of contemporary English poets.'
    John Whale
    'Jeffrey Wainwright's work is among the most interesting of any poet now writing'
    The Guardian
    Awards won by Jeffrey Wainwright Short-listed, 2017 Arnold Bennett Book Prize (What Must Happen )
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