Felix Andrew Alexander Salkey was born on January 30, 1928 in Colón, Panama and died April 28, 1995 in Amherst, Mass. He was an author, anthologist, and editor whose work reflected a commitment to Jamaican culture.
Raised in Jamaica, Salkey attended the University of London and became part of the London community of emerging West Indian writers. He became a freelance writer and journalist and contributed to the British Broadcasting Company as a radio interviewer, critic, and author of radio plays and features. From 1976 he was a professor of writing at Hampshire College, Amherst, Mass.
In the mid-1950s Salkey taught English at Walworth Secondary school an early comprehensive in south-east London. During that time he also contributed regularly to the BBC’s influential Caribbean Voices radio program, working as a reader, interviewer, editorial advisor and contributing author. Salkey’s home became a meeting place for many Caribbean writers living or visiting London and during his lifetime he nurtured many young artists and writers. One example is his long friendship with Austin Clarke; the two had corresponded for a long time and many of the letters are available in Clarke’s files at the McMaster University Archives in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. In 1966 Salkey, along with the Trinidadian publisher, writer and activist John La Rose and the Barbadian poet and historian Edward Kamau Brathwaite co-founded the Caribbean Artists Movement, another forum to nurture Caribbean artists, poets, writers, dramatists, actors and musicians. Learn More at bbawriting.com