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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.

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Henry Reed, ca. 1960


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Reeding:

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.


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«  Laundry Days  »

Reeding Lessons: the Henry Reed research blog

16.12.2017


Laundry Days

Yesterday was Laundry Day. Today, today is also a laundry day.

I may or may not do actual laundry on Laundry Day. I have a tendency to wear some items twice in a given laundry cycle: shirts and slacks, anyway. Socks? Never. Socks are one-day-wear items. Undershirts? One day. Perhaps this is the norm for single, semi-professional males who don't earn enough to justify having a dry cleaner. I don't know.

Laundry Days are usually Saturdays and Sundays, spent cleaning house or taking care of various sundry errands, both in the real world and online. I vacuum, I brush the cat, I backup the website in case I do something stupid. I go over the little lists of reminders and "To dos" that I have jotted down or emailed myself over the course of a workweek. Links to check, resources to check out. "Buy stamps." "Clean blinds." That sort of thing.

Yesterday, the laundry list included weeding through a pile of printouts which had been languishing unread on my desk. My desk here in the apartment happens to be in the kitchen, and the printout pile was beginning to look like an overused drink coaster, looped with rings of coffee and red wine and waterstains.

My big discovery was in a record I had printed out for the Papers of Henry Reed collection at the University at Birmingham, England. I'd known about the collection before, but I had never seen this description displayed this way. (at the Archives Hub, a catalog of more than 90 UK university and college collections. Did you know that the "ac" in the ac.uk domain is for "academic"? Finally figured that out). The text is from the University of Birmingham Information Services' Research Libraries Bulletin, no. 6 (Autumn 1998).

The biography does state that Reed was a drill instructor during his service in the RAOC, which is incorrect. Reed was but a lowly Private. But that's a small matter.

I was thrilled to notice that the "Scope and Content" section names four poems by Reed which were not included (or not selected for inclusion) in the 1991 Collected Poems: "The Candidate," "The Summer Exam," "Liberal Rhymes for Liberal Times," and "Voyage Autour de ma Chambre" (Voyage Around my Room?). I rank this right up there with the recent sighting of the presumed-to-be-extinct Ivory-Billed Woodpecker. Unpublished Henry Reed poems!

Also mentioned is a Masters thesis on critical editing, which apparently made use of the collection's correspondence and letters written to Reed. I'd love to get my mitts on that dissertation. Next Laundry Day.

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Notation for "Laundry Days":
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What is Henry Reed's first name?

1513. Hodge, Alan. "Thunder on the Right." Tribune (London), 14 June 1946, 15.
Hodge finds 'dry charm as well as quiet wit' in "Judging Distances," but overall feels Reed is 'diffuse and not sufficiently accomplished.'



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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