About LaurieLaurie Wilkinson - Man and legend
Thanks for taking the time to read this brief biography , I hope it is of interest and gives some background and amusement. It also describes and is insightful as to how my views and poetry have come about and why my work is in such everyday, down to earth language!
I was born in Walthamstow East London during the adjusting post WW 2 years. I remember my parents affectionately as being very happy, supportive and making jokes though they were quite poor and the “bathroom” was a tin tub hanging on a nail in the garden! Believing we are products of our environment and experiences, I reflect how this past has influenced a fairly recent embarkation of poetry writing.
From working in London’s east end at only fifteen amongst the biting wit and humour, to the tragic death at only thirty four of my beloved sister Doreen when I was twenty six, my life had already polarised. I did though regale some of my work mates with “little rhyming ditties” that they might not have appreciated personally, but greatly amused the other workers! One such little rhyme rendered the recipient almost mute with incandescent rage apparently, apart from the foulest of language! Fortunately I was not there at the time as I possibly might not be writing this now!
A successful career in mental health followed, working as a ward manager, and in a forensic secure unit, then as a senior psychiatric nurse visiting Kent area prisons. The ability to talk to distressed, disturbed people was paramount. In 2001 I obtained a degree in Psychiatry allowing me to do Private Lecturing on many related subjects. Diverse emotions met in these experiences reflect in my poems.
I have a grown up son and three step daughters, and lived with my late wife Iris until she passed away some time ago now, but she had supported, helped and suffered my poetry, before becoming increasingly complimentary. In earlier years the family had camping holidays touring Europe, but recently my wife and I have traveled extensively in tents out in Africa, Australia, also touring South America and the Amazon as well as Asia. I was particularly moved by seeing Mandela’s cell on Robben Island and visiting the impoverished township of Soweto!
History, including membership of an 1815 British re enactment regiment recreating Napoleonic battles, football, dancing and sport generally are amongst my hobbies. Music is another major love and I recall singing with pop groups in my teens, writing songs the group played. I saw most of the Sixties groups live, and listening to the words for any stories in the songs had an influence on me, as did a love of Shakespeare, Kipling and war poets with their gifts of power and emotion in the written word.
These emotions, interests and experiences present themselves in my poetry, encompassing romance, humour, tragedy and reflection. I have written mostly when aroused by anger, sadness, terror atrocities and the contradictions and falsehoods of our existence, but mostly the pure humour of life, the people in it and what they do! Just sit back, watch, listen and take note of the world around you, and it is sincerely hoped my books help! Due to my extensive career in Psychiatry I have now taken on the aka “The Psychy Poet Laurie Wilkinson” which I also have a Facebook page for.
About the time my first book called “Poetic Views of Life” came out I decided that if I could manage to sell just 60 books I would donate to the excellent Help for Heroes from sales. I chose this charity as my son was about to leave the army after some time and had served quite a lot in Afghanistan. To say I was relieved he was safe and uninjured was somewhat an understatement. Sadly many were not so lucky and there are now apparently around 175,000 with life changed injuries and conditions.
Supporting and donating to the excellent armed forces charity Help for Heroes from book sales & fund raising has not only amplified the charity awareness but also led to some healthy donations to them….
I really hope you like my work that may make you cry, laugh, reflect and even get angry! I will welcome this as I prefer people to express their emotions, rather than join the “shoulder shruggers” that life passes by. Most of all though, please enjoy!