Selected Poems

Selected Poems
Poetry. Edited and Introduced by Raymond Foye. Afterword by Neeli Cherkovski. The brief life of Eric Walker (1964-1994) was also a remarkably productive one. He was a close friend and a peer to many of the important poets of San Francisco and Berkeley in his day: Bob Kaufman, Philip Lamantia, Tisa Walden, Howard Hart, Kirby Doyle, Neeli Cherkovski, Julia Vinograd, and many others. This is the first major collection of his work.

"It began as a kind of fairytale life in poetry: the young man from the provinces arrives in San Francisco to meet his mentors, the Beat poets of San Francisco and Berkeley. It was 1981, he was seventeen, he slept on floors, begged food, bummed cigarettes, and in the morning left behind scribbled poems that delighted and amazed his hosts. These early years were filled with promise, joy, and exuberance, but there followed in his twenties a chaotic descent into mental illness. The poetry and madness, in classic fashion, often went hand in hand. A dozen years and five hundred poems later, he was found hanging in a prison cell, aged 29."--Raymond Foye, from the Introduction

"The poems of Eric Walker are exquisite. Not only did he possess a musical ear and a natural sense of craft, but he left behind a considerable body of work. Although repetitive at times, that in itself only enhances the sense of mastery over his interior demons and gives the reader a grasp of what would rise to the surface later if his life had not been so tragically shortened. They are so much of his mind and of his imagination, but they grew out of the rough and beautiful coast lands of California, and down through the tangled shadows of his psychic redwood forest."--Neeli Cherkovski, from the Afterword

Publication Date: 
August 1, 2019