(January 30, 1928 - April 28, 1995) was a novelist, poet, freelance writer and journalist of Jamaican and Haitian origin. Salkey was born in Panama but was raised in Jamaica. He died in Amherst, Massachusetts.
After completing his basic education in Jamaica, Salkey attended the University of London and became a part of the West Indian Students Union (WISU), which provided an effective forum for Caribbean students to express their ideas and provided voluntary support to the "harassed" working-class Caribbean immigrant community, during the 1960s, 70s and 80s. The association also included Gerry Burton, Arif Ali, Chris LeMaitre, John La Rose and Horace Lashley.
In the mid-Fifties he taught English at Walworth Secondary school (also known as Mina Road school), an early comprehensive just off the Old Kent Road in South-east London.
Salkey published a number of novels over the course of his career. He was also a BBC interviewer and a professor in writing at Hampshire College in Amherst.
Salkey was good friends with Austin Clarke, and the two had a long written correspondence, a great deal of which is available in Clarke's files at the McMaster University Archives in Hamilton, Ontario.
I was headed nowhere like a hundred million others: I had escaped a malformed Jamaican middle class; I had attained my autumn pavement; I had done more than my fair share of hurting, rejecting, and condemning; and I had created another kind of failure, and this time, in another country.
(from Escape To An Autumn Pavement