Eddie Linden had such an unfortunate childhood, it is in danger of overshadowing his work as an editor and poet, although the best examples of his poetry, such as ‘City of Razors’, draw on his early years in Glasgow. Linden was born in Northern Ireland in 1935. As his mother was unmarried, relatives in Scotland took over his care. When his foster mother died when Linden was 10, he was sent to an orphanage. Apart from the Dickensian traumas of his youth, Linden struggled – as documented in his verse – with alcohol, his Roman Catholic faith, and his sexuality.
He left Scotland in 1958 to live in London, where he began to forge connections with poets. Linden had been writing verse since he was in his teens, and now he was seriously encouraged by new acquaintances George Barker and Peter Porter. In 1969, he founded and has edited ever since Aquarius, a periodical dedicated to poetry. In 1979, he co-wrote with Sebastian Barker his autobiography Who is Eddie Linden?, which was adapted into a stage play in the following year. Eddie’s Own Aquarius was published in 2005 to mark Linden’s 70th birthday, and featured contributions from, amongst others, Seamus Heaney, Alasdair Gray, James Kelman, and Elaine Feinstein.