Miriam Waddington Biography
(1917–2004), First Statement, Preview, Green World, The Second Silence, The Season's Lovers
Canadian poet, the daughter of Russian-Jewish immigrants, born in Winnipeg, educated at the University of Toronto. After many years as a social worker in Montreal, in 1964 she began lecturing at York University, Toronto, where she became Professor of English in 1973. During the early 1940s she was closely associated with the magazines First Statement and Preview. The lyrical reflections on personal experience in Green World (1945), her first collection of verse, and its successor The Second Silence (1955) made precise and energetic use of natural imagery. Social concerns emerge as a dominant aspect of her verse in The Season's Lovers (1958). Her subsequent collections include The Glass Trumpet (1966), in which greater economies of form become apparent, Say Yes (1969), The Price of Gold (1976), and The Visitants (1982); her Collected Poems appeared in 1986. Her wide experience in social work underlies the compassion and anger with which she presents her often harrowingly realistic views of the casualties of urban modernity. A taut and persuasive directness of tone and vividly particular imagery are characteristic of much of her verse. Among her other publications are the short stories of Summer at Lonely Beach (1982), which extend her concern with lives on the margins of society, and the critical essays collected in Apartment 7 (1989).