(1902 –56), was born in Cumberland into a strict Wesleyan family. After winning a scholarship to Oxford and graduating in 1924, Slater began work in Liverpool as a reporter. By 1930 he had joined the Communist Party, to which he remained loyal for the rest of his life. Marxist ideas profoundly influenced all that he wrote. He published his first novel in 1931, his second three years later, and others followed at regular intervals thereafter. However, it seems that by the early 1930s he had discovered that his deepest allegiances were to drama, including verse drama. During the decade he wrote many plays, including his great Stay Down Miner (1936), published as A New Way to Win (London, 1937), and several pageant plays. There followed much work as a writer of film-scripts and, most famously, collaborations with Benjamin Britten, including the opera Peter Grimes.
From The Oxford Companion to Twentieth-Century Poetry in English in Oxford Reference.