Archive 2009

born 1949, is a British poet, essayist, cartoonist, and writer. He was born in Hong Kong, educated in England, and studied at Oxford University. He 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). 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.
Christopher Reid worked as Poetry Editor at Faber and Faber for eight years, and runs his own independent publishing house, Ondt & Gracehoper. In 2007, he edited The Selected Letters of Ted Hughes for Faber and Faber.
His latest collections are The Song of Lunch (2009), and A Scattering (2009), in memory of his late wife, Lucinda. A Scattering was shortlisted for the 2009 Forward Poetry Prize (Best Poetry Collection of the Year). Christopher Reid has also written two books of poetry for children. He currently teaches at the University of Hull.
His illustrations has been published in Punch and London Magazine.
He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

The Oriental Gallery

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego –
three pots from the same kiln.
Their Chinese maker must have been pleased
to see them emerge unscathed from the firing.

He was in the position of God.
They were his faithful servants, showing
By their unblemished complexions and perfect poise
how Nebuchadnezzar can be outsmarted.

Forgive me if I prefer the pieces
on other shelves: bottles with cricked
necks, and the jar that dribbles
its glaze like a sloppily fed baby.

Even more moving are the broken patterns
of pots that wanted to be earth again.