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E. A. Markham (Edward Archibald Markham) Biography

(1939– ), (Edward Archibald Markham), Ambit, Artrage, Cross-Fire, Master Class, Family Matters

Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Madras House to Harriet Martineau Biography

British poet, born in Monserrat, West Indies; he emigrated to Britain in 1956 and was educated at Kilburn Polytechnic, London, and Saint David's University College, Lampeter. Since 1968 he has held numerous positions as a lecturer, writer-in-residence, and arts administrator in Britain, the West Indies, and Papua New Guinea. In 1980 he became assistant editor of Ambit and edited Artrage magazine from 1985 to 1991. Among the numerous early collections of his work to appear from British small presses are Cross-Fire (1972), Master Class (1977), and Family Matters (1984). Human Rites: Selected Poems 1970–1982 (1984) gained him wider notice for the originality of tone and wry humour with which his verse covers a wide range of personal and socio-political themes; the diffidently detached personae of ‘Lamchops’ and ‘Philpot’ are vehicles for many of the most effective poems. Subsequent collections include Living in Disguise (1986), Towards the End of the Century (1989), Letter from Ulster and the Hugo Poems (1993) which confirm Gavin Ewart's statement that Markham is ‘a writer of great intelligence and vitality’. He has also written several plays, and published collections of short stories including Something Unusual (1986) and Ten Stories (1994).

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