John Manifold was an Australian poet, translator, and musicologist. Born in Melbourne in 1915, he studied at Cambridge University, where he joined the Communist Party of Great Britain. During World War II, he served in the British Army’s Intelligence Corps and frequently published poetry during his service. Following the war, he founded the Realist Writers Group.
His work is known for his use of conventional forms and war themes, and Manifold has been recognized for his attempts to reinvigorate the traditional Australian bush ballad. In addition to being a poet, he was an avid critic and musician and published essays on realism and recorder technique.
After returning to Australia in 1949, Manifold worked primarily on songs and ballads before his death in Brisbane in 1985.