Anglican Priest & Poet Spencer Reese
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.
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. 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. 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). 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.
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", 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. He serves as priest at the Anglican Cathedral of the Redeemer of the Reformed Episcopal Church of Spain, a member church of the Anglican Communion.