Christopher Reid - Author

About the Author

Christopher Reid is the author of a number of books of poems including, most recently, For and After (2003) and Mr Mouth (2006). Between 1991 and 1999, he was Poetry Editor at Faber and Faber, and worked with Ted Hughes on such books as Tales from Ovid and Birthday Letters. In 2007, he was appointed Professor in Creative Writing at the University of Hull.

Featured books by Christopher Reid

Other books by Christopher Reid

Old Toffer's Book of Consequential Dogs

Old Toffer's Book of Consequential Dogs

Author: Christopher Reid Format: Hardback Release Date: 27/09/2018

I've rounded up a rowdy assembly Of my own Consequential Dogs As counterparts to Eliot's mogs. Mine are a rough and ready bunch: You wouldn't take them out to lunch . . . But if they strike you as friendly, funny, Full of bounce and fond of a romp, Forgetful of poetic pomp, I trust you'll take them as you find them And, at the very least, not mind them. T. S. Eliot's best-selling collection of practical cat poems has been one of the most successful poetry collections in the world. For the first time in company history a companion volume will be published. Originally conceived by Eliot himself, Old Toffer's Book of Consequential Dog poems are a witty, varied and exquisitely compiled as Eliot's cats.

The Song of Lunch

The Song of Lunch

Author: Christopher Reid Format: Paperback Release Date: 05/07/2018

Lunch in Soho with a former lover - but Zanzotti's is under new management, and as the wine takes effect fond memories give way to something closer to the bone . . . Christopher Reid's poem, which since its first publication has been filmed by the BBC and presented on stage in numerous venues, follows the lunchtime reunion of two long-separated lovers. Every smallest detail is cherished, as step by step the narrative moves towards its tragicomic outcome.

Six Bad Poets

Six Bad Poets

Author: Christopher Reid Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/05/2018

Six Bad Poets is a farce-in-verse by Christopher Reid. It follows the exploits and mishaps of a group of poets, whose destinies are more intimately connected than they themselves can know, in their attempts to navigate the hazards of London literary society. Recklessness, fecklessness, blind ambition and enthralment to dark secrets are among the forces that drive these colourful and conflicted characters - three male, three female - towards their fates. Six Bad Poets is a fast-paced romp through a world that the author has observed closely over many years, and from which he reports with merciless accuracy, zest and humour.

Selected Poems

Selected Poems

Author: Christopher Reid Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/09/2016

With his first book of poems, Arcadia (1979), Christopher Reid won both a Somerset Maugham Award and the Hawthornden Prize. His second, Pea Soup (1982), showed him developing the line of defamiliarising metaphor that had associated him, in the public mind, with the so-called Martian School. With his third, Katerina Brac (1985), however, he surprised readers with something quite different: a volume purporting to consist of translations from the work of a foreign poet, whose nationality and language remained undisclosed. Subsequent volumes have confirmed Reid's restless spirit of enquiry and invention, adding new, imaginatively oblique approaches, assumed voices and authentic translations to his repertoire. The present Selected Poems follows his career as far as A Scattering , the set of elegies for his late wife that was named Costa Book of the Year for 2009.

The Curiosities

The Curiosities

Author: Christopher Reid Format: Paperback Release Date: 05/05/2016

The Curiosities is the eleventh book of poems from this most inventive and celebrated of British poets. Clustering around the letter 'C', the seventy-some poems that comprise this collection celebrate a lexicon of lived experience through a single letter of the alphabet. Here we find tales of cufflinks and costume, cougars and cochineal, catapults and cavalry, even canoodlings in canoes. With a characteristic sleight of hand, Christopher Reid shifts deftly between seriousness and play, elegy and anarchy in this sometimes-zany, sometimes-haunting compendium of bright-eyed verses. Here and there the story-telling roams and sweeps: here are tales 'for' friends and loved ones, there are tales 'after' the great poets of history. But whoever and whatever the mode of address, these poems are frequently underpinned by a unifying humanity. The Curiosities is a temptatious read, full of wisdom and surprise, humour and lament, and is a poignant and convincing reminder that in a world where 'nobody's allowed to live forever', life is for celebrating, and grasping by the collar.

Anniversary

Anniversary

Author: Christopher Reid Format: Paperback Release Date: 12/03/2016

Christopher Reid's wife, the actress Lucinda Gane, died in October 2005. The poems he wrote about her death were published by Arete Books in a volume titled A Scattering, which went on to be chosen as Costa Book of the Year 2009, the first collection of poems in ten years to be so honoured. Josephine Hart, chair of the Costa judges, described it as 'austere and beautiful and moving' and 'a master work by a man who for sad reasons has met artistically his moment'. Since then, Reid has published collections of verse on other subjects, but as the tenth anniversary of his loss approaches he has returned to elegy in ten poems addressed directly to Lucinda, remembering and celebrating aspects of her personality and their marriage. Anniversary is quiet and intimate in tone, but of considerably wider resonance in what it has to say about these things. It is in every respect a fitting postscript to the volume by which he is best known.

The Curiosities

The Curiosities

Author: Christopher Reid Format: Hardback Release Date: 21/05/2015

The Curiosities is the eleventh book of poems from this most inventive and celebrated of British poets. Clustering around the letter 'C', the seventy-some poems that comprise this collection celebrate a lexicon of lived experience through a single letter of the alphabet. Here we find tales of cufflinks and costume, cougars and cochineal, catapults and cavalry, even canoodlings in canoes. With a characteristic sleight of hand, Christopher Reid shifts deftly between seriousness and play, elegy and anarchy in this sometimes-zany, sometimes-haunting compendium of bright-eyed verses. Here and there the story-telling roams and sweeps: here are tales 'for' friends and loved ones, there are tales 'after' the great poets of history. But whoever and whatever the mode of address, these poems are frequently underpinned by a unifying humanity. The Curiosities is a temptatious read, full of wisdom and surprise, humour and lament, and is a poignant and convincing reminder that in a world where 'nobody's allowed to live forever', life is for celebrating, and grasping by the collar.

Nonsense

Nonsense

Author: Christopher Reid Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/10/2013

Christopher Reid's new collection is a quartet of works for voice, opening with the brisk and brightly coloured monologue of Professor Winterthorn - recently widowed, soon to be retired, who decides on impulse to attend a conference (on 'Nonsense and the Pursuit of Futility as strategies...') in California. He is a mordant observer, alert to the anomie of modern displacement - taxis, lifts, airports, lounges, hotel rooms - whose thin air seems at one with the loose change of widowhood, the having nowhere really to go. But adventure lies ahead, and sunshine, and Winterthorn is debonair if undeceived about the deceptions of grief. His strange ride ends on a note of recovery, with the world suddenly in focus again and brimming before him.

Six Bad Poets

Six Bad Poets

Author: Christopher Reid Format: Hardback Release Date: 05/09/2013

It follows the exploits of a group of hapless bards, more intimately connected than they themselves can possibly know, in their attempts to navigate the hazards of London literary society. Reid's colourful cast includes an ageing ex-offender, a lecherous academic, a fading grande dame and her underachieving best friend, and two young graduates, one as feckless as the other is ambitious. Hard as each may try, the poets' attempts at literary and social advancement are continually hampered both by fate and by a variety of personal shortcomings, ensuring that their story accelerates irrevocably towards comic catastrophe and collapse. Six Bad Poets is a delicious romp through a world that the author has observed closely over many years, and from which he reports with merciless accuracy, zest and humour.

Imprison'd Wranglers The Rhetorical Culture of the House of Commons 1760-1800

Imprison'd Wranglers The Rhetorical Culture of the House of Commons 1760-1800

Author: Christopher Reid Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/11/2012

Although the later eighteenth century has long been regarded as parliamentary oratory's golden age, its speaking history remains to a large extent unexplored. Imprison'd Wranglers looks in detail at the making of a rhetorical culture inside and outside of the House of Commons during this eventful period, a time when Parliament consolidated its authority as a national institution and gained a new kind of prominence in the public eye. Drawing on a wide range of contemporary sources including newspaper reports, parliamentary diaries, memoirs, correspondence, political cartoons, and portraiture, this book reconstructs the scene in St. Stephen's Chapel, where the Commons then sat. It shows how reputations were forged and characters contested as speakers like Burke, North, Fox, and Pitt crossed swords in confrontations that were both personal and political. With close attention to the early lives of selected MPs, it pieces together the education of the parliamentary elite from their initiation as public speakers in schools, universities, and debating clubs to the moment of trial when they rose to speak in the House for the first time. Since this was the period when the newspaper reporting of parliamentary debates was first established, the book also assesses the impact speeches made on the audiences of ordinary readers outside Parliament. It explains how parliamentary speeches got into print, what was at stake politically in that process, and argues that changing conceptions of publicness in the eighteenth century altered the image of the parliamentary speaker and unsettled the traditional rhetorical culture of the House.

Nonsense

Nonsense

Author: Christopher Reid Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/09/2012

Christopher Reid's new collection is a quartet of works for voice, opening with the brisk and brightly coloured monologue of Professor Winterthorn - recently widowed, soon to be retired, who decides on impulse to attend a conference (on 'Nonsense and the Pursuit of Futility as strategies...') in California. He is a mordant observer, alert to the anomie of modern displacement - taxis, lifts, airports, lounges, hotel rooms - whose thin air seems at one with the loose change of widowerhood, the having nowhere really to go. But adventure lies ahead, and sunshine, and Winterthorn is debonair if undeceived about the deceptions of grief. His strange ride ends on a note of recovery, with the world suddenly in focus again and brimming before him.

Sounds Good

Sounds Good

Author: Christopher Reid Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/03/2012

Sounds Good offers a collection of 101 poems, chosen to illustrate the function of sound in poetry. Christopher Reid provides brief notes, approaching the poems from different and sometimes surprising angles, with the purpose of illuminating the processes that have given them their vitality. Sounds Good can be enjoyed simply as a collection of some of the most beautiful poems in the English language; it can also be used as an aid to explore the secret art of poetry composition itself.

Selected Poems

Selected Poems

Author: Christopher Reid Format: Hardback Release Date: 03/11/2011

Christopher Reid won the Hawthornden Prize and a Somerset Maugham Award for his first collection, Arcadia, and has since then adopted a variety of guises: as 'Martian' poet, as Katerina Brac - she being the fictional Eastern European poet of whose work his collection of the same name purports to be translations - and as Alfred Stoker, the 100-year-old visionary. Included here as well are poems from Reid's powerful and moving elegiac volume, A Scattering, which was named Costa Book of the Year for 2009. This is an essential introduction to the work of a richly resourceful poet engaged in what he himself once described as 'provisional negotiations with untidy life'.

The Song of Lunch

The Song of Lunch

Author: Christopher Reid Format: Paperback Release Date: 23/09/2010

Lunch in Soho with a former lover - but Zanzotti's is under new management, and as the wine takes effect fond memories give way to something closer to the bone. A mock-elegy for the heady joys of old-time Soho, The Song of Lunch displays the full range of Christopher Reid's wit, craft and human sympathy.

For and After

For and After

Author: Christopher Reid Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/07/2003

For and After is Christopher Reid's fourth collection of poems to be published by Faber & Faber, and his first since Expanded Universes in 1996. It consists, more or less half and half, of poems bearing dedications to friends, colleagues and loved ones, and translations or versions of works in foreign languages, including a passage from The Odyssey and a miscellany of pieces by Horace, Leopardi, Baudelaire, Rilke and others. By turns intimate and affectionate, satirical and mischievous, For and After is a dazzling insight into one of the most imaginative minds in the business.

Katerina Brac

Katerina Brac

Author: Christopher Reid Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/08/2001

The poems in this collection are presented as translations from the work of the eponymous Katerina Brac, who lives in a country, and writes in a language, that are never identified. 'Reid's achievement in this book is to conjure up in very few words a life-system capable of supporting real poetry. He has never written more carefully and delicately.' Peter Porter, Observer 'Sensitive, intelligent and highly inventive.' Stephen Spender

Not to Speak of the Dog 101 Short Stories in Verse

Not to Speak of the Dog 101 Short Stories in Verse

Author: Christopher Reid Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/10/2000

A collection of some of the best stories ever written, whether in verse or in prose. Not to Speak of the Dog is an anthology that shows the many different ways in which poets tell stories. It includes both English and foreign poems, and poets from the past are placed side by side with our contemporaries, as having a shared interest in the business of presenting tales with the greatest impact and memorability, whether their treatment of them be tragic or anecdotal, serious or amusing, dramatic or mysterious. Not to Speak of the Dog continues a concern with the constraints and liberties of the poem, which Christopher Reid investigated in his previous anthology Sounds Good: 101 Poems to be Heard.

Expanded Universes

Expanded Universes

Author: Christopher Reid Format: Paperback Release Date: 09/09/1996

Among the people and creatures to be met in Expanded Universes are the last sphinx in captivity, a flying prophet, the unorthodox compiler of a Contradictionary, Gertrude Stein's little-known sister and two exceptionally loud-mouthed dogs, Rolf and Garth. Questions of belief and imaginative freedom are approached from sometimes unlikely angles. The man who translated Katerina Brac and preserved the writings of Alfred Stoker, Christopher Reid here continues his project of finding significance in the marginal, the endangered, the aprocryphal and the downright absurd.

In the Echoey Tunnel

In the Echoey Tunnel

Author: Christopher Reid Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/09/1991

Christopher Reid always startles and delights readers of discernment. He has, too, always broken new ground, as evidenced here by two long poems, both concerned with the coaxing of eloquence from difficult circumstances. The first recounts, in accomplished argot, the quirky memories of an old man in his hundredth year. The second celebrates the recovery from a dangerous illness of his wife - broken fragments that sing themselves into wholeness.

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