Craig Raine (born 3 December 1944) is an English poet and critic born in Bishop Auckland, County Durham, England. Along with Christopher Reid, he is the best-known exponent of Martian poetry.[1]


His father was a fairground boxer, and he grew up in a "bookless" prefab in Shildon, near Bishop Auckland, County Durham.[2][3] He won a scholarship to the independent Barnard Castle School.[4] Of his time there he has recalled that it seemed that everyone else's parents seemed to be:

accountants or surgeons or something. I couldn't say my father was an ex-boxer who did faith healing, had epileptic fits and lived off a pension. So for a while I said he was a football manager. But by the end I was inviting my friends home and they thought he was just as terrific as I did.[5]

Raine received his university education at Exeter College, University of Oxford, where he was:

thrilled by beer at one and threepence a pint, the sexual revolution was good and I was obsessed with literature.[6][7]

He taught at Oxford and followed a literary career as book editor for New Review, editor of Quarto, and poetry editor at the New Statesman. He became poetry editor at publishers Faber and Faber in 1981, and has been a fellow of New College, Oxford since 1991, retiring from his post as tutor in June 2010.

He is married to Ann Pasternak Slater, a retired fellow of St Anne's College, Oxford. Craig Raine is founder and editor of the literary magazine Areté and a frequent contributor.[6] His daughter Nina Raine is a director and playwright and his son Moses is a playwright.

His works include a number of poetry collections [8]: The Onion, Memory (1978), A Martian Sends a Postcard Home (1979), A Free Translation (1981), Rich (1984), History: The Home Movie (1994), and Clay. Whereabouts Unknown (1996). His reviews and essays are collected in two anthologies: Haydn and the Valve Trumpet (1990) and In Defence of T. S. Eliot (2000). A short critical-biographical study of Eliot, T. S. Eliot: Image, Text and Context, was published in 2007.


Poetry Edit

  • The Onion, Memory, Oxford University Press, 1978. ISBN 0192118773.
  • A Journey to Greece, Sycamore Press, 1979
  • A Martian Sends a Postcard Home, Oxford University Press, 1979. ISBN 019211896X.
  • A Free Translation, Salamander, 1981
  • Rich, Faber and Faber, 1984
  • History: The Home Movie, Penguin, 1994
  • Change, Prospero Poets, 1995
  • Clay: Whereabouts Unknown, Penguin, 1996
  • Collected Poems 1978-1999, Picador, 1999
  • A la recherche du temps perdu, Picador, 2000
  • How Snow Falls, 2010


  • Heartbreak, Atlantic, 2010


  • 1953: A Version of Racine's Andromaque, Faber and Faber, 1990



  • Haydn and the Valve Trumpet, Faber and Faber, 1990
  • In Defence of T. S. Eliot, Picador, 2000
  • T. S. Eliot: Image, Text and Context, Oxford University Press, 2007

As editorEdit

  • A Choice of Kipling's Prose, Faber and Faber, 1987
  • Rudyard Kipling: Selected Poems, Penguin, 1992
  • New Writing 7, (co-editor) Vintage, 1998

References Edit

  1. British Council: Biography – "It is worth recalling how The Onion, Memory (1978) and A Martian Sends a Postcard Home (1979), Raine’s first two poetry collections, made such a spectacular impact on the then becalmed world of British poetry, seeming to set off a stylistic revolution of visual similes, wordplay and punning – even if in the long run it turned out to be a fashion. 'The Martian School', so-called by his friend James Fenton and inaugurated with another, Christopher Reid, had a widespread effect on readers and young poets alike, spawning a host of imitators."
  6. 6.0 6.1 British Council: Biography
  8. Nielsen Book Data at 27 November 2008
  9. "We’ve had the book and film, now it’s Atonement the opera" by Ben Hoyle, The Times (London), 19 March 2010. Retrieved 19 March 2010

External linksEdit


de:Craig Raine pl:Craig Raine

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