February 26, 1935 – November 15, 2018
Edward Dickinson (Ted) Blodgett was born in 1935 and received a PhD in comparative literature from Rutgers. In 1966, he began a long teaching career at the University of Alberta. Later in life, he moved to South Surrey (near Vancouver), BC.
As a scholar and literary critic, Ted wrote extensively about and promoted Canadian and medieval literature and inspired generations of students to love literature and poetry. He read widely in many languages.
He was, above all, a poet and published close to 30 books of poetry, for which he received two Governor General’s Awards as well as awards from the Writers Guild of Alberta and the Canadian Authors Association. He was a co-founder of the Writers Guild of Alberta, served as Writer in Residence at MacEwan University (2004) and Edmonton’s Poet Laureate (2007-09), and was named to the City of Edmonton’s Arts and Culture Hall of Fame (2011). He taught in many countries, including Austria, Germany, and France. In 1986 he was named a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.
He sang with the Richard Eaton Singers, played the renaissance lute, loved birds, played squash, and was an Oilers fan back in the days of Mark Messier.
After he retired as Distinguished University Professor Emeritus, he held the Louis Desrochers Chair in Etudes canadiennes, Campus Saint-Jean. In his retirement on the west coast he continued to sing in choirs, play the lute, travel, read, and write poetry.
Ted had an insatiable curiosity, as much about the person sitting next to him as about the lives of people who lived decades or centuries earlier and worlds away. He will be remembered for his love of a good story, his booming laugh, and his head thrown back in laughter. He called a spade a spade but had the grace to laugh when someone threw the shovel back at him. He was devoted and generous to his friends, and his children shared his great love of the arts with him.
Ted was predeceased by his first wife, Elke, and his sister Anne. He will be deeply missed by his wife of 27 years, Irena; his children, Gunnar, Astrid (Herb), Kirsten (Will), and Peter (Lisa); his grandchildren, Geoffrey (Mikayla), David, Bronwen, Emily, Charlotte, Sarah, Andrew, and Benjamin; his sister Linda and her family; and many friends and former students.
Celebrations of his life will be held at a later date in Edmonton and Vancouver.