Happening Now!

2021 New edition of Hurry On Down

A new paperback and Kindle edition of John Wain’s iconic first novel with an Introduction by John Andrew Frederick

October 2019 French Translation of Strike The Father Dead short-listed for prestigious literary award in France, Les Mémorables 

New 2019: John Wain’s Jazz. Archive recording of his BBC radio programme about the jazz musician Fats Waller, one of a series on jazz that he wrote and presented in the 1980s.

New in 2019: new edition of his seminal novel, Hurry On Down, the book that helped to begin the so-called Angry Young Man movement, planned by Valancourt Books for later this year

New – May 2019 French translation of Strike the Father Dead published by Editions Typhon in France

French-language edition of Hurry On Down published October 18th 2018 by Editions Typhon here

January 2018 A new Kindle edition of John Wain’s life of Johnson published by Crossroads Press 

January 2018 New French-language editions of Strike The Father Dead and Hurry On Down to be published soon by Editions Typhon, France.

Thursday, October 30th 2015 John Wain Celebration – local media coverage here

2015 Reissue of The Contenders, Strike The Father Dead (UK Edition) and the Whitbread Fiction Prize-winning Young Shoulders, all from the Foruli Press.

2015 ‘C.S. Lewis and His Circle’. A new book from the Oxford University Press, published this year, edited Wright, J. Wolfe and B.N. Wolfe. Subtitled ‘Essays and Memoirs from the Oxford C.S. Lewis Society’, this book contains – among much other fascinating material, transcripts of two talks given by John Wain to the Society in the late 1980s. One is John Wain’s personal recollection of Major W.H. Lewis, C.S. Lewis’s brother; the other is entiled ‘Nevill Coghill and C.S> Lewis, Two Irishmen at Oxford’. I’m hoping to publish two very short extracts from the talks here, but they deserve to be read entire, as does the rest of the book.

2015 Part of a verse from John Wain’s translation of the Anglo-Saxon poem ‘The Seafarer’ has been used as the title for Oxford Archaeology’s book on a Viking burial site excavated in Dorset. The title of the book is ‘Given to the Ground’ and the full verse from which the phrase comes is:


Fame is hushed/the world’s dignity withers up and shrivels/ as comes to every man now over middle-earth:/ age presses on him, his face grows pale/ white-haired, he sorrows for his henchmen/ sons of greatness given to the ground.

Read the poem in full  free PDF edition of Selected Poems and Memoirs here

2015 UK editions of ‘The Contenders’ and ‘Strike The Father Dead’ (already available as a Kindle edition) to be published

2015 John Wain’s  ‘A Song About Major Eatherley’, one of his best poems, to be included in an anothology of the nation’s favourite poems collected by Andrew Marr,  entitled ‘We British’.

2015 Short story collection planned for the next year

March 2014 – new edition of  ‘A Winter In The Hills’  published in the USA, UK and as a Kindle book by Valancourt Books : read more here

January 2014: UK editions of The Contenders and  Young Shoulders planned.
October 2013 UK and US editions of Strike The Father Dead and A Winter In The Hills planned. More soon


John Wain’s name has been kept very much alive in the years since he died in 1994. 2013 marked 60 years since his ground-breaking novel ‘Hurry


On Down’ was published in 1953 and a special anniversary edition has been published by Valancourt Books in the USA, who have also brought out Kindle editions of both this and ‘The Smaller Sky’, is available in both Kindle and print worldwide. ‘Hurry On Down’ is available in the UK as well via this publisher. Meanwhile Valancourt have plans to reissue ‘A Winter In The Hills’ in the future, and there is a UK and Kindle edition mooted for ‘Strike The Father Dead’ , John Wain’s novel about jazz and youthful rebellion, to be republished soon.

Meanwhile there are plans for a celebration of his life and work in his home town of Stoke-on-Trent in 2015. Details when we have them!

On this website, we have three free eBooks available for download:

  • John Wain’s collection of pen-portraits of people who he knew and who influenced him deeply, ‘Dear Shadows’ – read it in full
  • A selection of his poems, including some unpublished, from 1949-1994. This volume also includes his first and partial draft of an autobiography, ‘Earthtrack’; Now available here.
  • His collection of lectures given as Professor of Poetry in Oxford, which includes memories of those years 1973-1978 and lectures on Philip Larkin, W.H.Auden, Yeats and Flann O’Brien. This is upcoming; see the post on his Comus lecture here for an extract.