Jeffrey Wainwright Biography
(1944– ), The Important Man, Poetry of the Committed Individual, Poetry Introduction: 3
British poet, born in Stoke-on-Trent, educated at the University of Leeds. After teaching at University College, Aberystwyth, and Long Island University, New York, he became a lecturer at Manchester Polytechnic in 1973. The Important Man (1970) was his first independent publication as a poet. His work attracted critical acclaim when it appeared in Jon Silkin's edition of Poetry of the Committed Individual (1973) and Faber's Poetry Introduction: 3 (1975). Heart's Desire (1978), Selected Poems (1985), and The Red-Headed Pupil and Other Poems (1994) are among his principal collections of verse. Wainwright's poetry invariably displays a compelling stylistic economy which gives his brief lyric treatments of personal experience an unsettling intensity. His imaginatively concentrated presentations of historical subject matter are among his finest work; ‘Thomas Muntzer’, a sequence of dramatic monologues in the voice of the sixteenth-century German revolutionary, is deeply informed by Wainwright's own political and spiritual beliefs. His other works include an adaptation of Charles Péguy's The Mystery of the Charity of Joan of Arc (1986), which was produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1984.