Documenting the quest to track down everything written by (and written about) the poet, translator, critic, and radio dramatist, Henry Reed.

An obsessive, armchair attempt to assemble a comprehensive bibliography, not just for the work of a poet, but for his entire life.

Read "Naming of Parts."

Henry Reed Henry Reed
Henry Reed Henry Reed
Henry Reed, ca. 1960



I Capture the Castle: A girl and her family struggle to make ends meet in an old English castle.
Dusty Answer: Young, privileged, earnest Judith falls in love with the family next door.
The Heat of the Day: In wartime London, a woman finds herself caught between two men.




Weblogs, etc.

«  Guest Researchers Wanted  »

Reeding Lessons: the Henry Reed research blog


Guest Researchers Wanted

Reeding Lessons loves libraries. We love libraries because they are filled from floor to ceiling with stories waiting to be discovered. Stories like when Henry Reed, upon being presented with a bottle of Mumms Extra Dry, once quipped, "Poor baby." Or that Reed had the seat of his trousers scorched by burning brandy at Louis MacNeice's Birmingham going-away party. Or his reprehensible behavior when in the company of the poet Elizabeth Bishop.

There are still secret stories waiting to be discovered. Reeding Lessons wants to share the love, and we're not afraid to beg. So we're issuing a challenge: help fill in the gaps in our research.

Are you a student, librarian, or just a library geek? Would you like to contribute to continuing scholarship on an overly-anthologized, under-appreciated poet? Want to own a rare piece of Reedsh? Then become a Reeding Lessons Guest Researcher!
Step 1. Visit your library! Track down and locate a primary or secondary source on Henry Reed (1914-1986).

Sources should be original (print, not Internet) journal or newspaper articles, book reviews, poems, encyclopedia entries, book chapters, or excerpts from biographies or other non-fiction. Anything written by Henry Reed, or that mentions Henry Reed. It can be several pages in length, or as short as a single sentence.

Here's a list of "most wanted" items, to get you started. I also collect Reed's appearances in anthologies.

2. Scan (or photocopy and scan) this source into a .pdf document, or image file (.jpg, etc.). Include the title page or table of contents, copyright page, and index entry (as appropriate).

This is important! Including the title and copyright pages makes your research verifiable, and reproducible. This is science, people!

3. E-mail the scan to , before 12:00 am EST, Sunday, April 1st.

For the price of a few photocopies and some footwork, the researcher who e-mails the best item before the deadline will receive, in return, a copy of Reed's The Auction Sale, published as a Greville Press pamphlet in 2006, with an introduction by Professor Jon Stallworthy. The pamphlet is worth 7.50 (about $14.75) and, obviously, you must be willing to provide us with a physical mailing address (free shipping to anywhere IRL!).

The Auction Sale cover

We only have one copy of the pamphlet to give away, so:

4. Only the guest researcher who turns up and sends in the most unexpected, colorful, unique, or fantastically interesting source item (as judged by Reeding Lessons) will receive a *free* copy of The Auction Sale.

5. All participants in the Library Challenge, however, will receive credit for their hard work on this blog, with a link to their website (if they would like), and our everlasting respect and undying gratitude.

6. Fine print: We're not sure of the precedent for a project like this, so Reeding Lessons reserves the right to make the rules up as we go along. All decisions will be final. Until we change our minds.
Also, We're not at all sure why we issued this challenge in first-person plural. It just sounded more official that way.

If you have comments, questions, or outrage, please feel free to comment below, or send us me an e-mail.

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Add Notation:


Notation for "Guest Researchers Wanted":
Allowed: <a> <em> <strong>
What is Henry Reed's first name?

1536. L.E. Sissman, "Late Empire." Halcyon 1, no. 2 (Spring 1948), 54.
Sissman reviews William Jay Smith, Karl Shapiro, Richard Eberhart, Thomas Merton, Henry Reed, and Stephen Spender.

1st lesson:

Reed, Henry (1914-1986). Born: Birmingham, England, 22 February 1914; died: London, 8 December 1986.

Education: MA, University of Birmingham, 1936. Served: RAOC, 1941-42; Foreign Office, Bletchley Park, 1942-1945. Freelance writer: BBC Features Department, 1945-1980.

Author of: A Map of Verona: Poems (1946)
The Novel Since 1939 (1946)
Moby Dick: A Play for Radio from Herman Melville's Novel (1947)
Lessons of the War (1970)
Hilda Tablet and Others: Four Pieces for Radio (1971)
The Streets of Pompeii and Other Plays for Radio (1971)
Collected Poems (1991, 2007)
The Auction Sale (2006)



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