Marian Miner Cook

A distinctive
feature of social and
cultural life at CMC


A Poet at Work

Thu, February 9, 2023
Dinner Program
Christopher Reid

Christopher Reid, a London-based poet and editor, will read his poems and talk about some of the great poets with whom he worked at the publisher Faber and Faber in the 1990s. Winner of  the Hawthornden Prize for his first collection, Arcadia (1979) and more recently the Costa Book of the Year Award 2009 for A Scattering, a collection of elegies for his wife, he edited Letters of Ted Hughes (2007) and Christopher Logue’s War Music (2015) and is now preparing his selection of Seamus Heaney’s correspondence for publication. His comic narrative poem The Song of Lunch was turned into a BBC film starring Alan Rickman and Emma Thompson.

Mr. Reid's Athenaeum presentation is co-sponsored by the Gould Center for Humanistic Studies at CMC.

(Parents Dining Room)


Christopher Reid was born in Hong Kong in 1949, educated in England, and studied at Oxford University from 1968-1971.

He then worked as a freelance journalist and as book review editor of Crafts magazine. He won an Eric Gregory Award for his poetry in 1978. A year later his first poetry collection, Arcadia (1979) was published, winning the 1980 Somerset Maugham Award and the Hawthornden Prize. This has been followed by Pea Soup (1982); Katerina Brac (1985); In The Echoey Tunnel (1991); Expanded Universes (1996); For and After (2002) and Mr Mouth (2005). A selection of his poems was published in the US as Mermaids Explained (2001). He is often cited as co-founder with Craig Raine of the 'Martian School' of poetry which employs exotic and humorous metaphors to defamiliarize everyday experiences and objects. He has also written two books of poetry for children: All Sorts (1999) and Alphabicycle Order (2001).

He is the editor of two Faber and Faber collections: Sounds Good: 101 Poems to be Heard (1998) and Not to Speak of the Dog: 101 Short Stories in Verse (2000).

Reid has also published illustrations in Punch and London Magazine, worked as Poetry Editor at Faber and Faber for eight years, and runs his own independent publishing house, Ondt & Gracehoper. He received a Cholmondeley Award in 1995, the 2000 Signal Poetry Award for his children's collection All Sorts, and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

His latest collections are The Song of Lunch (2009); A Scattering (2009), in memory of his late wife, Lucinda; Nonsense (2012); Six Bad Poets (2013); and Anniversary (2015). A Scattering was shortlisted for the 2009 Forward Poetry Prize (Best Poetry Collection of the Year) and the 2009 T. S. Eliot Prize, and won the 2009 Costa Book of the Year.

Source: Excerpted extensively from British Council: Literature

Mr. Reid's Athenaeum presentation is co-sponsored by the Gould Center for Humanistic Studies at CMC.


Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum

Claremont McKenna College
385 E. Eighth Street
Claremont, CA 91711

Phone: (909) 607-8244


Phone: (909) 621-8244
Fax: (909) 621-8579