A poet, playwright, essayist and editor, John Drinkwater was born in Leytonstone, London. He left school at fifteen and turned to literature after a short career working as an Insurance Agent. His first published poetry collection was ‘Poems: 1903 (C. Combridge, Birmingham). A ‘Collected poems of John Drinkwater, Volume 1 was published in 1923. ‘Swords and Ploughshares’, published in 1915 (Sidgwick & Jackson, London) is a collection of war poems. 

After the World War I he became associated with the Dymock poets, named after the Gloucestershire village and including Rupert Brooke and Robert Frost, whose work, beyond their War Poems, was characterised by an affiliation for nature. Drinkwater was also one of the Georgian Poets, contributing to volumes of poetry published by Edward Marsh between 1911 – 1922. 

Drinkwater achieved considerable success with a series of plays, the first being ‘Rebellion’ in 1914.  This was followed by Abraham Lincoln’ in 1918. He was Manager of the Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Secretary to ‘The Pilgrim Players’ and President of ‘The Birmingham Dramatic and Literary Club’, performing as an actor under the name John Darnley. 

Drinkwater was also an essayist and editor.   

Poems by John Drinkwater

Moonlit Apples - John Drinkwater