Legendary Ottawa poet William Hawkins dies at age 76

Ottawa poet William Hawkins, who developed a dedicated following for his expressive poems and songs in the 1960s and 1970s, has died at the age of 76.
Ottawa poet William Hawkins had just released "The Collected Poems of William Hawkins" last year at the age of 75. (Alan Neal/CBC)

Ottawa poet William Hawkins, who developed a dedicated following for his expressive poems and songs in the 1960s and 1970s, has died at the age of 76.

His publisher Chaudiere Books announced the news on Monday, saying he died after a short stay in hospital.

It was only a year ago that an anthology of Hawkins's work was published by Chaudiere Books.

From 1964 to 1971 Hawkins published five collections of poetry and also had an impact on the Ottawa music scene where he performed in bands alongside musicians such as Bruce Cockburn and Darius Brubeck.

A tribute CD released in 2008, Dancing Alone: The Songs of William Hawkins, featured covers from Cockburn, Lynn Miles, Kellylee Evans, Ian Tamblyn and Murray McLauchlan, among others.

In 2013 he was inducted into the VerseOttawa Hall of Honour.


2008 profile of William Hawkins

2008 profile of Bill Hawkins 4:56