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Out of the Air
... Good morning brother scallop shell, kinned in calcium,
Self-assembled from the slosh we are,
Hard palate, hard ridge, bone of each other's bone...
from 'Anne's Shells'
In Out of the Air Jeffrey Wainwright gathers ghosts and brings them into earshot. There are elegies in which the daily world of chores and small events offers consolations. In 'The Apparent Colonnades', connections between artefact and life, and between individual lives, are probed.
In 1994 Wainwright said that poetry now has 'the opportunity to combine so many different aspects of experience, knowledge and ways of speaking, and to mix them in a way that is richer, more linguistically - that is to say humanly diverse than any of the argufying discourses it might feed from. Descartes, a child's bedtime memories, geology and evolution (popularly apprehended), a bit of argot and verbal playfulness can co-exist here as in no other form outside the literary.'
Awards won by Jeffrey Wainwright Short-listed, 2017 Arnold Bennett Book Prize (What Must Happen )
Praise for Jeffrey Wainwright
Ben Ray, Oxford Review of Books
'As Best We Can is a defining poetic moment of 2020.''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'
Steve Whittaker, Yorkshire Times
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.'
'Jeffrey Wainwright's work is among the most interesting of any poet now writing'
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