Herbert was born in Kirbymoorside, North
Yorkshire in 1893. His education at the University of Leeds
was disrupted by the outbreak of World War I, in which Read
served in France, receiving both the Military Cross and the
Distinguished Service Order.
Read’s first volume of poetry was self-published during
World War I, and another collection (Naked Warriors), was
published later in 1919, drawing upon his fighting experiences
in the trenches.
In many respects, Read remains better known as an art critic,
who championed such British artist’s as sculptor Henry
Moore, and arists’, Paul
Nash, Ben Nicholson and Barbara Hpeworth.
In 1953 Herbert was knighted by the then Prime Minister, Sir Winston Churchill, for his services to the literary
world, despite his anarchist and existential proclivities.