Friday, 20 February 2015

Disabled poet deals with frustration of cerebral palsy by writing book - using just his NOSE!!!

A man with cerebral palsy has taken to writing poetry to deal with the frustrations of his disability - despite having to write it using just his nose.
Richard Hopley is celebrating seeing his first book published and stocked in Waterstones after spending more than a year writing it.

The 41-year-old says he became interested in poetry in his late teens, when the reality of his disability began to hit.
“I was noticing other young lads, holding hands with their girlfriends, which tormented and frustrated me inside," he says.

“At the time I had no outlet to channel my anger when, one day, I was doing some writing on my computer and suddenly this poem started to take shape and form and I have enjoyed doing it ever since.”

Richard has never let growing up with a disability stop him making the most of his life: “I have always tried to look on the positive side.
“I concentrate on what I can do and try not to dwell on what I can’t do. I normally manage to find a way to do most things though!”

Those ‘most things’ include trips to Amsterdam and Glastonbury and even a turn in a racing car, reports the LIverpool Echo.
But poetry has become his lifeline.
Liverpool EchoRichard HopleyTalent: Richard Hopley has described poetry as his lifeline
“Given my difficulties in communicating due to having no speech, I find my poetry is like a gateway to expressing myself, which I touched on with my frustration,” says Richard, 41.
“However, it also gives me a lot of pleasure and satisfaction.
“Today my poetry is so much better and positive.”
And he adds: “I love the challenge poetry presents to me. Each poem is like a snapshot of thought and expression.
“How I write a poem without making any notes beforehand is an amazing gift to me, I don’t know how it happens really.
"I suddenly get an idea in my mind and the words come as I am typing. I love this way of working, it’s spontaneous and exciting.
“And I love sharing my poetry with other people and seeing the reaction to each one.”


Waterstones

Of course, while the words may come more easily, the practicalities are not.
Richard writes his poems on an iPad, using his nose instead of his fingers to activate the letters.
“I used to use a big cumbersome computer and I was forever stretching, trying to operate a special mouse and standard keyboard.
"This always hurt my back so a few years ago I decided to buy an iPad and it has speeded everything up.

“I still have to type with my nose but it’s nowhere near as tiring.”
The subject matter can vary.
WaterstonesPublished: Richard's book will be on sale at Waterstones
“Living by the River Mersey at the Albert Dock, has influenced by life and my poetry tremendously.
“I can look out if my window onto the river and, to me, water tells stories in its movement.

"My favourite poem I have ever written is River Book, where the waves are like pages of a book that you can actually read, placing new thoughts in your mind.

“I wonder as I look on the surface, my mind dives in, revealing untold stories.”

But he goes on: “There are many different topics in my poetry. I write about technology quite a bit as it’s a major help in my life.

"A Bit Of The Apple illustrates this through celebrating the iPad and how it has totally changed my life.
"For instance, I can do everything by just touching lightly with my nose.”
Richard has put together a collection of his poems in his first book, River Book, available at Waterstones at £5.

Richard Hopley

He says: “I am incredibly pleased with my book, it is fantastic to know that other people get a chance to share my thoughts and hear my voice.”

And he adds: “I have plans to write another poetry book in a year or two. I want to write a thicker, proper mainstream book that will hopefully put me on the map as a known poet.

Richard Hopley

No comments:

Post a Comment