Many years ago, I shared a large flat in Oxford with various people, among them Christopher Reid, the poet. We’ve never lost touch, though that was probably the period when we were closest; from time to time we chat at the TLS party and he was nice when Abigail died.
About five years ago, his wife Lucinda died – she played a chemistry teacher in Grange Hill– and Christopher has just won the Costa prize for the collection of poems A Scattering that he wrote about her dying, her death, and the aftermath. He’s always been my favourite of the male poets of my generation – I like his work more than Raine or Fenton, say, and loads more than Motion, but this is the book in which he moved from being good to at least the border of being great.
My congratulations to him.