"It is a devastating piece of work and all of us on the jury felt it was a book we would wish everybody to read."
This is how the chair of the Costa Prize jury described Christopher Reid's slim book of poems when they announced him as winner, in what was a very competitive field, of the overall award in 2009.
At the age of sixty, Christopher Reid lost his wife, the actress Lucinda Gane, to cancer. In this radio adaptation, Robert Bathurst reads this Costa prize winning collection of poems written in response to her death.
The poems describe the inevitable arc, from the first diagnosis of illness to a provisional (it never could be final) acceptance of the poet's enforced membership of "the club of the left-over living". Along the way he paints a panorama of grief and loss.
Christopher Reid has taken an intensely personal tragedy and made the emotion of it universal. The result is life-enhancing because ultimately it's all about the triumph of love after death.
Producer: Kate McAll