Sebastian barker new

Sebastian Barker. Courtesy Enitharmon Press.

Sebastian Smart Barker FRSL (16 April 1945 - 31 January 2014) was an English poet.[1]


Barker was the son of George Barker and Elizabeth Smart.

He was educated at The King's School, Canterbury, Corpus Christi, Oxford (M.A.) and at the University of East Anglia (M.A.).

He was on the executive committee of P.E.N. and was the Chairman of the Poetry Society from 1988 to 1992. In 2002 he took over editorship of the London Magazine, which he resigned from in 2008 after the Arts Council England had cut the magazine's funding.

His earlier collections, which include On the Rocks (Martin, Brian & O'Keeffe 1977), and A Nuclear Epiphany (Friday Night Fish Publications, 1984) were brought together in a volume of selected poems, Guarding the Border, published by Enitharmon Press in 1992. More recent collections include The Dream of Intelligence (Littlewood Arc, 1992, a long poem based on Nietzsche’s life and works), The Hand in the Well (Enitharmon, 1996), Damnatio Memoriae: Erased from Memory (Enitharmon, 2004), and The Erotics of God (Smokestack Books, 2005).

In August 2010 Barker contributed to an eBook collection of political poems entitled Emergency Verse - Poetry in Defence of the Welfare State edited by Alan Morrison [2]

He died aged 68 of a cardiac arrest, after suffering from lung cancer. He was survived by his wife, Hilary, and his four children, Chloë, Miranda, Daniel, and Xanthi.[1]


Barker is the recipient of awards from the Arts Council, the Society of Authors and the Royal Literary Fund. The Dream of Intelligence was named as a Book of the Year in both The Independent and The Spectator, and The Erotics of God was The Tablet's Book of the Year in 2005.[3]

In 1997 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.



  • Poems. Reepham, Norfolk, UK: Cygnet Press, 1974.
  • The Dragon and the Lion: Poems for China and Africa (illustrated by Robert M. Pollet). London: Quill Books, 1976.
  • On the Rocks. Martin Brian, & O'Keeffe, 1977.
  • Epistles; or, Final pagan poems. London: Martin Brian & O'Keeffe, 1980.
  • A Fire in the Rain. London: Martin Brian & O'Keeffe, 1982.
  • A Nuclear Epiphany. London: Friday Night Fish, 1984.
  • Boom. Stamford, UK: Free Man's Press, 1985.
  • Lines for My Unborn Son. London: Brian & O'Keefe, 1987.
  • Guarding the Border: Selected poems. London: Enitharmon, 1992.
  • The Dream of Intelligence. Todmorden, UK: Littlewood, Arc, 1992.
  • The Hand in the Well. London: Enitharmon, 1996.
  • Damnatio Memoriae: Erased from memory. London: Enitharmon, 2004.
  • The Erotics of God. Middlesbrough, UK: Smokestack Books, 2005.
  • The Matter of Europe. London: Menard Press, 2005.
  • A Monastery of Light: The Sitochori poems: A village in the mountains of the south west Peloponnese. London: The Bow-wow Shop, 2012.
  • The Land of Gold. London: Enitharmon, 2014.


  • Who is Eddie Linden? A biography. London: J. Landesman, 1979.


  • Rowan Williams' Theology of Art, and other essays. Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen, 2009.
  • A theology of Poetry: The wheels of Ezekiel: A lecture commissioned by the Centre for Research in Philosophy and Literature at the University of Warwick. Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen, 2010.


  • A Zoo to Brood upon: Stories and poems from a new English town (edited with Vivian Wright). Bracknell, Berkshire, UK: South Hill Park Arts Centre, 1981.
  • A Royal Audience: An anthology of writing by the people of the Royal County of Berkshire (edited with Vivian Wright). Reading, UK: Berkshire County Library, 1985.
  • Pacing the Cage: An anthology of writing from Lincolnshire and surrounding counties. Stamford, UK: Stamford Arts Centre, 1985.
  • Christopher Barker, Portraits of Poets. Manchester, UK: Carcanet Press, 1986.

Except where noted, bibliographical information courtesy WorldCat.[4]

See alsoEdit


  1. 1.0 1.1 Clive Wilmer, "Sebastian Barker obituary, The Guardian, February 11, 2014. Web, Feb. 16, 2014.
  2. The Recusant eZine]
  3. Sebastian Barker (b. 1945), The Poetry Archive. Web, Dec. 24, 2013.
  4. Search results = au:Sebastian Barker, WorldCat, OCLC Online Computer Library Center Inc. Web, Apr. 24, 2014.

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