Faber fables

30th June 1995 at 01:00
It was a joy to read Heather Neill's appreciative and accurate account of Ted Hughes and his work, and dismaying to find, on the opposite page, Neil Philip's shameless garbling (TES, June 2). Mr Philip refers to "the towering importance a generation ago of Faber's magisterial poetry list, and its worthy irrelevance today," and then cites with approval three contemporary poets, two of whom are on the very list he disparages: Simon Armitage and Tony Harrison.

Does he really not know that we published Simon Armitage's Kid and Book of Matches, in 1992 and 1993 respectively, and that we shall be bringing out his new collection, The Dead Sea Poems, this September? Has he made particular efforts to forget Tony Harrison's The Mysteries, The Trackers of Oxyrhynchus, and other verse plays all made available by this firm? Will he somehow contrive not to notice Harrison's The Shadow of Hiroshima when it appears from Faber in a few months' time?

And will he then continue to pontificate in your pages?

CHRISTOPHER REID Poetry Editor, Faber and Faber 3 Queen Square, London WC1

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