It is fitting that in this issue which has an essay on Tennyson’s farewells, we should remember Hayden W. Ward who spent thirty-five years in faithful service to Victorian Poetry and to West Virginia University. More fitting still is that this issue commences with the keynote address from the celebration of the fiftieth year of VP’s publication, an address which recounts Victorian Poetry’s illustrious past and looks forward to its promising future. Because Hayden was so much an integral and significant part of that past and that future. When he came to WVU in 1969 to take on the duties of Assistant Editor, he became a member of a respected triumvirate which included John Stasny and Richard Tobias. Together they shepherded VP through the next twenty-one years and combined their mission to foster and publish scholarship on Victorian poetry with their love of baseball.
Hayden Ward became the journal’s editor in 1990 and continued in that position until his retirement in 2004. During that time, in his unassuming way, Hayden expanded Victorian Poetry’s reach to include poets hitherto all but forgotten and topics that reminded VP’s even most devoted readers of the intimate and essential connection between nineteenth-century history and culture and that century’s poetry. Mindful of the journal’s past, Hayden nonetheless prepared for its future by encouraging younger scholars and inviting special issues, taking special pride in those on Spasmodic and Tractarian poetry and the “Whither Victorian Poetry” double issue. Through it all, Hayden was a devoted editor, deeply dedicated to Victorian Poetry, gracious to and supportive of its contributors, grateful for its readers and advisors, and meticulous in the care he gave to each and every issue. To those of us who knew him, he was a kind man, a good friend, and a marvelous colleague.
If, as Linda K. Hughes asserts in her keynote address, “narrative matters,” then Hayden Ward is one of the heroes of the story of Victorian Poetry’s first fifty years and a man deserving of a Tennyson to write his valediction. [End Page i]