A student with cerebral palsy, who is only able to type by using his nose, has seen his first book of poetry published and stocked in Waterstones.
Richard Hopley is taking a Writing Poetry course in the University’s Department of Continuing Education within the Centre for Lifelong Learning. He began writing poetry as a teenager as a way to deal with the frustrations of his disability.
Richard said: “Given my difficulties in communicating due to having no speech, I find my poetry is like a gateway to expressing myself.
“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 now uses an iPad to type out his poems using his nose. He said: “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.”
Richard’s tutor, Dr Gladys Mary Coles, was so impressed with his progress that she suggested he may be ready for publication. She said: “Richard joined my Writing Poetry course more than six years ago and it has been a privilege to guide his development as a poet. His language is inventive, his perceptions highly individual, always drawn from the centre of his own experience.
“In several poems, striking in their originality, he writes about his intense relationship with today’s technology and his reliance upon it. For all who aspire creatively, Richard Hopley’s work is an inspiration.
River Book is available at Waterstones in Liverpool ONE and is priced at £5.00.