Tom Wayman has a unique voice in Canadian poetry as an ardent spokesman and advocate of the workplace. Wayman transfers his experience in construction, demolition and factory jobs into his writing. He consistently argues that daily work is one of the central concerns of life, and that it should therefore be - along with love, death and nature - a central concern of artists as well. His views are explored in two collections of critical essays, Inside Job (1983) and A Country Not Considered (1994).
His poetry focuses on the importance of work, but employs humour rather than dogmatism. His first collection, Waiting for Wayman (1973), introduced the often self-deprecating Everyman Wayman persona. This character has appeared in subsequent collections such as The Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech: New and Selected Wayman Poems (1981), and Did I Miss Anything? Selected Poems 1973-1993 (1993). Money and Rain (1975) and The Astonishing Weight of the Dead (1994) employ a similarly unpretentious and colloquial style.
Tom Wayman's 2002 collection, My Father's Cup, was nominated for the Governor General's Award. He has since published High Speed Through Shoaling Water (2007), and his first book of short fiction, Boundary Country (2007).
Author DONNA COATES Revised: F. THOMPSON