F. D. Reeve

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
F. D. Reeve
BornSeptember 18, 1928 (1928-09-18)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
DiedJune 28, 2013 (2013-06-29) (aged 84)
EducationPrinceton University (BA)
Columbia University (PhD)
  • Writer
  • poet
  • academic
  • Barbara Lamb
    (m. 1951; div. 1956)
  • Helen Schmidinger
  • Ellen Swift
    (m. 1983, divorced)
  • Laura Stevenson
Children5, including Christopher
AwardsSee Awards

Franklin D'Olier Reeve (September 18, 1928 – June 28, 2013[1]) was an American academic, writer, poet, Russian translator, and editor.[2] He was also the father of Superman actor Christopher Reeve.[3] He was the grandson of the first American Legion national commander, Franklin D'Olier.

Life and career[edit]

Reeve was born in Philadelphia, the son of Anne Conrad D'Olier and Richard Henry Reeve.[4] He was brought up outside New York City. Reeve worked in the wheat fields for a while during college and, after graduation, was a Hudson River longshoreman for a while. He graduated from Princeton University (1950) and Columbia University (1958), and in 1961 was one of the first exchanges between the American Council of Learned Societies and the USSR Academy of Sciences. In the late summer of 1962 he accompanied Robert Frost to Russia for his meeting with Nikita Khrushchev, where Reeve served as Frost's translator.

Reeve started his academic career teaching Russian language and literature at Columbia University. After teaching at Columbia, Reeve moved to Wesleyan University in 1962 as chairman of the Russian Department. In 1967, he joined Wesleyan's inter-disciplinary College of Letters where he taught literature, humanities and creative writing until his retirement in 2002. During the course of his career he had visiting appointments at Oxford University, Yale, and Columbia.[5]

From 1994 on, he lived in Wilmington, Vermont with his wife, novelist Laura Stevenson. Reeve was an officer of the Poetry Society of America, the founding editor of Poetry Review, the secretary of Poets House in its formative years, and was associated with the New England Poetry Club and the New York Quarterly. He published over two dozen books of poetry, fiction, criticism, and translation.

Reeve died on June 28, 2013, at Dartmouth Hitchcock Hospital in Lebanon, New Hampshire from complications from diabetes.[1]



  • "Venus, Half Dressed". AGNI. 51. 2000. Archived from the original on 2009-12-28. Retrieved 2009-06-08.
  • "The Old World". AGNI. 51. 2000. Archived from the original on 2009-12-27. Retrieved 2009-06-08.
  • "Barnyard". AGNI. 51. 2000. Archived from the original on 2009-12-28. Retrieved 2009-06-08.
  • "Coasting". The American Poetry Review. July 1995.
  • "The auctioneer". The New Criterion. 25: 32. October 2006.




  • The White Monk: An Essay on Dostoevsky and Melville. Vanderbilt University Press. 1989. ISBN 0826512348.
  • The Russian Novel. McGraw Hill. 1966.
  • Robert Frost in Russia. Atlantic-Little,Brown. 1964.
  • Aleksandr Blok: Between Image and Idea. Columbia University Press. 1962.


  • The Garden, New and Selected Poetry and Prose by Bella Akhmadulina. Henry Holt and Co. 1990.
  • Contemporary Russian Drama. Pegasus. 1968.
  • Anthology of Russian Plays, volume 2, 1890-1960. Vintage Books. 1963.
  • Anthology of Russian Plays, volume 1, 1790-1890. Vintage Books. 1961.
  • Resurrection. The Heritage Press. 1963. (Revision and edit of Leo Wiener translation.)



  1. ^ a b Martin, Douglas (2013-07-08). "F. D. Reeve, Poet and Translator, Dies at 84". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2022-05-15.
  2. ^ "F. D. Reeve". NYQ Poets. The New York Quarterly Foundation. Archived from the original on 2013-10-29. Retrieved 2022-05-15.
  3. ^ "Christopher Reeve Biography (1952-)". www.filmreference.com. Retrieved 2022-05-15.
  4. ^ "Ancestry of Christopher Reeve". www.wargs.com. Retrieved 2022-05-15.
  5. ^ "F. D. Reeve and The Three Blue Cats jazz band". www.albany.edu. Retrieved 2022-05-15.

External links[edit]