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California IN BRIEF : EUREKA : Award-Winning Poet Hangs Self in Jail

March 17, 1994|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

An award-winning poet who had battled schizophrenia for a decade hanged himself in a Humboldt County jail cell, authorities said. Eric Walker, 29, had been in jail since March 3 on charges of stalking and violating a court order. Jailers found Walker hanging from a bedsheet attached to the bars of his cell during a routine check Sunday. The county coroner ruled it a suicide. Walker, who won a $1,000 national poetry award in 1989, was highly admired in San Francisco, his publisher Tisa Walden said. Deep Forest Press published Walker's first book of poetry, "Night's Garden," in 1983. Subsequent books were "Jonah's Song," "Helen" and his final "Notes on a Surrealist," a collection of prose and poems written in a mental hospital. Walker had been in and out of mental health treatment programs for the past decade, said his father, Robert Walker.

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