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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’.
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