Robert Nye, British poet, Died at 77

Robert Nye was born on March 15, 1939, and died on July 2, 2016.

He was an English poet and author.

Robert Nye bestselling novel Falstaff, published in 1976, was described by Michael Ratcliffe (writing in The Times) as “one of the most ambitious and seductive novels of the decade”, and went on to win both The Hawthornden Prize and Guardian Fiction Prize.

His novel was also included in Anthony Burgess’s 99 Novels: The Best in English Since 1939 (1984).

Juvenilia 1 (1961) was his first, was a collection of poems.

Then he wrote a second volume, Juvenilia 2 (1963), won the Eric Gregory Award.

The two volumes were delightfully received and Martin Seymour-Smith described Nye as showing a “precocity unique in this century”.

From the year 1955 to 1961, he worked at a variety of jobs: newspaper reporter, milkman, postman, labourer in a market garden, and orderly in a sanatorium.

Judith Pratt, was his first wife from 1959.

During 1961, they relocated to a remote cottage in North Wales where Nye devoted himself full-time to writing.

While he was there, he developed an interest in Welsh and Celtic legends reflected later in his fiction for both adults and children.

He began writing stories for children to entertain his three young sons.

His children’s novel Taliesin and a collection of stories called March Has Horse’s Ears were published by Faber and Faber in 1966.

He went on to write many other poetry, publishing Darker Ends (1969), which launched Calder and Boyars’ “Signature Series”, later to include such authors as Samuel Beckett and Edward Dahlberg, and Divisions on a Ground (1976), and to prepare editions of other poets with whose work he feels an affinity: Sir Walter Ralegh, William Barnes, and Laura Riding.

His own Collected Poems appeared in 1995, and remains in print. His selected poems, entitled The Rain and The Glass, published in 2005, won the Cholmondeley Award.

Robert Nye passed away at 77 years old.