Please join us to celebrate the launch of Jeffrey Wainwright's new poetry collection, As Best We Can. Hosting the reading will be Helen Tookey, joining Jeffrey to discuss the new work. Audience members will have the opportunity to ask their own questions. We will also be showing extracts of the text during the reading so that you can read along.
As Best We Can, Jeffrey Wainwright’s seventh collection, marks a change of key for the poet. After the elegiac tone of What Must Happen (2016), the poems and sequences included here settle for the poet’s present world. They listen to what dreams have to tell, and (with humour underwriting their concentration) they worry at the labour and release of creative work. As always in Wainwright, history – personal and political – is alive in the present. ‘My Father and the Onward Tendency’ is a portrait of a man, a relationship, and a cultural history of mid-twentieth century Britain. ‘Who Was St Chad?’ in a similar spirit evokes the poet’s mother. Memories can be events; they can also be voices.
Jeffrey Wainwright was born in Stoke-on-Trent in 1944 and was educated locally and at the University of Leeds. He has taught 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.
Helen Tookey's debut collection, Missel-Child (2014), was shortlisted for the Seamus Heaney first collection prize. Her most recent, City of Departures, was shortlisted for the 2019 Forward Prize for Best Collection.
Registration for this online event will cost £2, later redeemable against the cost of the book. All attendees will receive the discount code and how to purchase the book during and after event.