In Memoriam: Parke Godwin

godwinHarold Parke Godwin (b.1929) died of natural causes on June 19, 2013. Better known as Parke Godwin, the name under which he wrote, Godwin was known as “Pete” by his friends.  His novella “The Fire When It Comes” won the World Fantasy in 1982 and he was a World Fantasy Con Guest of Honor in 2011.

Godwin joined the military and served in the Korean War, doing top secret work at critical radio listening posts.  After the conflict, he became an actor, following in his family’s footsteps and touring around the country, where he became friends with Marvin Kaye, another actor.  The two would eventually collaborate on three novels, The Masters of SolitudeWintermind, and A Cold Blue Light.

Although Godwin was writing throughout the fifties and sixties, he didn’t begin to publish his work until 1970, when his novel Darker Places was published.  Many of his books over the years dealt with the border where mythology met realism, with gritty versions of the Arthurian legend Firelord and Beloved Exile.  He gave similar treatments to Robin Hood in Sherwood and Robin and the King, St. Patrick in The Last Rainbow, King Harold in Lord of Sunset, Beowulf in The Tower of Beowulf, and Tristan and Isolde in his final novel, The Lovers, published under the name Kate Hawks.


4 Responses

  1. Rachel Holmen

    Does anyone recall the name of a short script he wrote, a dialog between Judas and Jesus? It was stunning, and he commented once it had, over his lifetime, earned him more in royalties than any other work.

    1. Connor Cochran

      Hi, Rachel. The title of that play was “Cold Journey in the Dark.” And I’m afraid that comment about royalties was actually a sarcastic dig at his various book publishers efforts to sell his books, which he was never satisfied with. The play in question was only performed a few times and earned far less for Parke than most of his books did.

      — Connor Cochran (executor/literary executor for the Godwin estate)

  2. cheryl kedwards

    i met this wonderful man in Sherwood forest in 1987- we became good friends-sent taped letters to each other for a while-but alas—i lost touch——-Blessed Be, Pete(Parke)

  3. Connor Cochran

    Two corrections: Parke’s first novel was published in 1973, not 1970. Also, his last novel was 2001’s WATCH BY MOONLIGHT, published under the pseudonym “Kate Hawks.” There are several additional works which he completed before his faculties failed him. These will be published posthumously.