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David Wright (David John Murray Wright) Biography

(1920–94), (David John Murray Wright), Sunday Times, An Anthology from X, Moral Stories

British poet, born in Johannesburg, South Africa; he grew up in England and was educated at Northampton School for the Deaf and at Oriel College, Oxford. Between 1942 and 1947 he was on the staff of the Sunday Times, after which he became a freelance writer. With the painter Patrick Swift, he founded and edited X, a highly regarded review of literature and the arts which appeared from 1959 to 1962, and co-edited An Anthology from X (1988). His collections of poetry include Moral Stories (1954), Monologue of a Deaf Man (1958), Adam at Evening (1965), and Metrical Observations (1980); To the Gods the Shades (1976), a collected edition with additional new work, is supplemented by Selected Poems (1988). His strong, if often ambivalent, sense of South African identity is clearest in ‘Seven South African Poems’ and ‘Voyage to Africa’, in which local, historical, and personal elements are skilfully interwoven. The generous range of his work includes poems based in classical allusion, witty commentaries on social and cultural concerns, and recurrent treatments of autobiographical and anecdotal material. His later verse is notable for its elegiac achievements, examples being his tributes to Ezra Pound, Patrick Kavanagh, and Brian Higgins. Among his other publications are the autobiographical Deafness: A Personal Account (1969) and the critical monograph Roy Campbell (1961). The numerous works he has edited include De Quincey's Recollections of the Lakes and the Lake Poets (1970).

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Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Woking Surrey to Æ