Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Poetry Saved Me after My Wife Died; Awards Night Was Her Evening Says Costa Winner Reid

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Poetry Saved Me after My Wife Died; Awards Night Was Her Evening Says Costa Winner Reid

Article excerpt

Byline: Louise Jury Chief Arts Correspondent

COSTA prize-winner Christopher Reid told today how poetry had saved his life after the death of his wife from cancer.

Reid, who was chosen for the [pounds sterling]30,000 Costa Book Award over favourite Colm Toibin, said he turned to writing to deal with the loss of his wife of 28 years, actress Lucinda Gane.

"It was really to save my own life that I turned to poetry," he said. "It provided a kind of mental and emotional discipline for my whole state of being."

Lucinda Gane, who once played Miss Mooney in Grange Hill, died aged 55 in 2005 and A Scattering, the work inspired by her, was published last year.

Reid, 60, said she was on his mind at last night's awards ceremony at Quaglino's restaurant where he became only the fourth poet -- after Douglas Dunn, Ted Hughes and Seamus Heaney -- to win the prize which pits novels, biography and poetry against each other. "I was reminded of her at every moment," he said today. …

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