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Gareth Reeves

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  • Gareth Reeves studied at the University of Oxford and at Stanford University, where he held a Wallace Stegner Writing Fellowship. Until recently he was Reader in English at Durham University, where he ran an MA creative writing course in poetry. Carcanet Press have published four collections of his poetry, Real Stories (1984), Listening In (1993), To Hell with Paradise: New and Selected Poems (2012), and Nuncle Music (2013), a sequence of monologues in the voice of the Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich. He is also the author of two books on T.S. Eliot, the co-author of a book on poetry of the 1930s, and many essays on nineteenth- and twentieth-century English, American and Irish poetry.

    Click here to listen to a podcast of Gareth Reeves reading his poetry. Credit Alistair Brown, Durham University English Department.

    Praise for Gareth Reeves 'It isn't easy for a poet to keep faith with Shostakovich, for whom words solved nothing, whose resort was music and, beyond that, self-defeatingly and only in imagination, silence. Reeves does just that.'
    Gillian Allnutt
     'Among the most remarkable [poems] are those which pay tribute to his father and the latter's struggle against his growing blindness... The honesty of these poems, and the way they cope with the complexity and ambiguity of emotion which perhaps must always inform the relationship between son and father are truly admirable.'
    John Heath-Stubbs, Acumen
    '...he writes a quiet undemonstrative poetry but that is not so say he lacks scope or ambition. He says somewhere that "honesty is difficult / Devious, silent". The poems are usually short but carefully constructed around perceptions of loneliness, full of sharp but discreet observation that mounts like evidence.'
    George Szirtes, Critical Quarterly
    '...distinguished by economy, quiet wit and resolute affection... Real Stories is enlivened by a central section of poems set in California, an inspired location - imagine Joan Didion, say, in Durham. The strangeness of both landscape and people is wryly observed... This marriage of down-to-earth observation with off-beat material works well.'
    Charles Boyle, London Magazine
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