Carcanet online book launch: Here On Earth by Jeffrey Wainwright

Sarah-Clare Conlon, Literature Editor
Jeffrey Wainwright poet
Poet Jeffrey Wainwright.

23 November 2022 Tickets from £2.00 — Book now

Jeffrey Wainwright launches his ninth collection of poetry, Here On Earth, with an online reading and chat with John McAuliffe from the book’s publisher Carcanet, followed by a Q&A when the audience can ask their own questions.

As any poet worth their weight in metaphors knows, Jeffrey is also the man behind poetry-writing bible Poetry: The Basics.

‘Jeffrey Wainwright’s work is among the most interesting of any poet now writing’, says the good ship The Guardian and, as any poet worth their weight in metaphors knows, Jeffrey is also the man behind poetry-writing bible Poetry: The Basics. Here On Earth follows hot on the heels of As Best We Can, which was described by the Yorkshire Times as ‘a defining poetic moment of 2020.’

Wainwright’s new collection treats major themes in a language described as ‘both expressive and colloquial’, with the poet addressing friends, with whom he’s grown up and then grown old. Reflecting on his own experience as a poet in age reaching the climax of his career, Here on Earth includes work quite different from Wainright’s previous publications, yet alongside the title sequence are three more, dependent upon political, social and historical subjects – themes more familiar to long-time readers of Wainwright’s poetry. The blurb reveals: ‘These include industrial heritage, such as ‘Pieces of Coal’ which draws upon the poet’s own childhood memories of the Potteries; ‘Coverdale’ which is set in contemporary Manchester; and ‘Empire News’, a group of poems on the iniquities of British imperialism from Australia to Ireland. A number of shorter poems complete the collection, treating serious themes of magnitude variously whilst always focusing on the accessibility and expressivity of poetic language.’

A leading member of the Leeds School of Poets, including Geoffrey Hill, Tony Harrison, Jon Silkin, Ken Smith, Jon Glover and others, Jeffrey Wainwright studied at Leeds University and went on to teach 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. For eleven years, he was northern theatre critic of The Independent while radio work has included reviews for KaleidoscopeNight Waves and On Air. He has also translated drama (from French) for BBC Radio 3 as well as for stage, and his critical prose (besides Poetry The Basics, Routledge) includes Acceptable Words: Essays on the Poetry of Geoffrey Hill, published in 2005. He has also published many articles on modern and contemporary poetry.

Jeffrey Wainwright’s 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), Clarity or Death! (2008), The Reasoner (2012), What Must Happen (2016) and most recently As Best We Can (2020).

John McAuliffe grew up in County Kerry, Ireland. The Gallery Press has published his five poetry collections, including A Better Life (2002), which was shortlisted for a Forward Prize. He teaches poetry at the University of Manchester’s Centre for New Writing and is Associate Publisher at Carcanet.

As always with Carcanet Press events, extracts of the text will be shown during the reading so that you can read along, and audience members will have the opportunity to ask their own questions. Registration for this online event is £2, redeemable against the cost of the book – attendees will receive a discount code and details of how to get hold of the new book during and after the event.

Here on Earth by Jeffrey Wainwright
Here on Earth by Jeffrey Wainwright

23 November 2022 Tickets from £2.00 Book now

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