Walker, Edward Joseph 1934-2004 (Ted Walker)
WALKER, Edward Joseph 1934-2004
See index for CA sketch: Born November 28, 1934, in Lancing, West Sussex, England; died March 19, 2004, in Valencia, Spain. Educator and author. Walker was an award-winning author of plays, fiction, and children's books, but drew the most praise for his poetry. After an idyllic life spent near Lancing beach in England before World War II, he explored poetry as a young student at Steyning Grammar School, where he cofounded a poetry magazine called Priapus. His career began in 1953 as a schoolmaster and French and Spanish teacher at High School for Boys in Chichester; three years later, he earned his B.A. at St. John's College, Cambridge; he would remain in Chichester until 1967, when the success of his writing led him to become a freelance writer and broadcaster. His early poems, published under the pen name Ted Walker, include Those Other Growths (1964), The Solitaries (1967), and Gloves to the Hangman: Poems, 1969-1972 (1973), among others. Adept at formal verse, Walker wrote very personal poems that are notable for their fresh imagery; many of his pieces appeared in the pages of the New Yorker. Despite his success with poetry, however, his verse output slowed as he turned to writing fiction as a way of earning a better income. His short stories sold well, and some of these are collected in You've Never Heard Me Sing (1985). His prose work, indeed, allowed him to become a freelance writer, though he accepted an appointment as poet-in-residence and professor of creative writing at New England College in Arundel, Sussex, where he would remain from 1971 until 1992. He also turned to writing autobiography in the books The High Path (1982) and The Last of England (1992), travel writing with In Spain (1989), and children's poems in Granddad's Seagulls (1994), as well as penning a screenplay version of Wind in the Willows (1995). Walker returned to his first love, poetry, with one of his last books, Mangoes on the Moon: Poems, 1992-1998 (1999), but his last publication, He Danced with a Chair: Fictions and Factions (2001), was a collection of prose works. Suffering increasingly from ill health later in life, he moved from England to Spain for the warmer weather, making Alcalali his permanent home in 1997. Named a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1975, Walker's contributions to literature were diverse; however, he will likely best be remembered for his poetry, for which he received such honors as the Cholmondeley Poetry Award and the Alice Hunt Bartlett Prize.
OBITUARIES AND OTHER SOURCES:
Contemporary Poets, seventh edition, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 2001.
Guardian (Manchester, England), April 2, 2004, p. 29.
Independent (London, England), March 30, 2004, p. 35.
Times (London, England), March 26, 2004, p. 33.