Spencer Reece

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Spencer Reece is a poet and presbyter who lives in Madrid, Spain. He graduated from Wesleyan University (1985). Reece received his M.A. from the University of York (UK), his M.T.S. from the Harvard Divinity School, and a M.Div. from the Berkeley Divinity School at Yale Divinity School. At Wesleyan, Spencer took a class in writing verse with Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Annie Dillard (Tinker at Pilgrim Creek), whom he describes as "an early encourager," along with James Merrill, the Stonington poet with whom Spencer corresponded.[1]

His 2004 book, The Clerk’s Tale, was published by the Houghton Mifflin Company (A Mariner Original). The Clerk's Tale was the winner of the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference Bakeless Prize and was judged by former U.S. poet laureate Louise Glück. The title poem describes a day in the life at a store in the Mall of America. Reece worked for many years as a sales associate at Brooks Brothers in the Mall. James Franco based his short film on the title poem.[2] Reece's second book, The Road to Emmaus, was published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux in April 2014. His work has appeared in Boulevard, The New Yorker and The American Poetry Review.[3] The Road to Emmaus was a long list nominee for the National Book Award and a finalist for the Griffin Prize in Canada.

2017 saw the publication of Counting Time like People Count Stars: Poems by the Girls of Little Roses, San Pedro Sula, Honduras (Tia Chucha Press).[4] This anthology of poems in Spanish with English translations was edited by Reece. The project was born from his time teaching at the Orphanage of Our Little Roses in Honduras.[5]

In 2019, Common Prayer: Reflections on Episcopal Worship was published, containing a chapter by Reece.

His prose devotional, The Little Entrance, is based on the idea "that poems are like Byzantine icons, portals to the divine",[6] and includes "a series of meditations" on the poets George Herbert, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Emily Dickinson and James Merrill. This book is slated for publication in 2020.

Reece was ordained a priest in the Episcopal Church in 2011.[7] He serves as priest at the Anglican Cathedral of the Redeemer[8] of the Reformed Episcopal Church of Spain, a member church of the Anglican Communion.


American academy of arts and letters award in literature, 2016

  • Shortlisted for the 2015 Griffin Poetry Prize for The Road to Emmaus
  • Longlist nominee for National Book 2014 for The Road to Emmaus
  • Recipient of the Witter Bynner Prize administered by the Library of Congress.[2]
  • Recipient of the Pushcart Prize in 2009.
  • Recipient of a Whiting Award in 2005 for poetry.
  • Winner of the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference Bakeless Prize for 2004.
  • Recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship.
  • Recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts poetry fellowship.
  • Recipient of an Amy Lowell Traveling Grant.


  1. ^ Reece Brings a Sense of Poetry to the Pulpit, The Westerly Sun. By Nancy Burns-Fusaro, Sun Staff Writer. 8 February 2010. Retrieved 15 November 2012.
  2. ^ a b People in the News, Spencer Reece, The Westerly Sun News. 8 November 2012. Retrieved 8 November 2012.
  3. ^ Bios of 2005 Whiting Writers' Award Recipients - Mrs. Giles Whiting Foundation Archived 16 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 9-20-06
  4. ^ "Counting Time". Tia Chucha Press. Retrieved 23 October 2017.
  5. ^ "'Don't forget us' - orphaned girl's please leads to film and book of poems". Anglican Communion News Service. 19 September 2017. Retrieved 23 October 2017.
  6. ^ Spencer Reece Bio.[permanent dead link], The James Merrill House Writer-in-Residence Program. By Staff. Retrieved 15 November 2012.
  7. ^ Spencer Reece : The Poetry Foundation Retrieved 29 March 2014.
  8. ^ Reece, Spencer. "Mensaje Revd Spencer". Catedral Anglicano. Retrieved 30 September 2017.

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