Photo of Steve Dowson

Words have always been important to me.  My father was a Methodist Minister and, in his day, a riveting preacher.  As a child I was expected not only to sit quietly on the pew and listen to his sermon, but also to give my considered and coherent response over the Sunday roast.  Though the opportunities were far more rare, I also listened to poetry readings by my mother, a trained elocutionist.

The journey to adulthood took me through a series of unhappy events, and I arrived a wounded and confused young man.  In my confusion I had the absurd idea that I should become a social worker.  Five years later I was a qualified and employed social worker, but disillusioned and outraged with UK social care policy, especially towards people with learning disabilities (aka developmental disabilities). Soon I was  headed into almost four decades as a campaigner and social care consultant. My work took me further and further away from the people I wanted to assist, and ever more concerned with national policies – in the UK, but also in places like the Canada, the US, Australia and Turkey.

I would never claim that my ‘career’ in social care was one long series of triumphs, but my ability to assemble words on the page was an area which kept me in good stead.  My writings were far more than reports for management.  They included campaigning publications, chapters for textbooks, opinion pieces for journals, countless newsletter editorials, and a university distance learning course. 

I hate the word retired. It implies that I have nothing to offer anymore.  All I’ll admit is that I’ve reached the point where I no longer have to work for the sake of earning money.  I live alone, high on the side of a hill in Worcestershire (in England).  It’s a perfect place to write, but also– as you will soon realise from my poems – one where it’s easy to become wistful. 

In 2019, after a more than a year’s work, I completed my first novel, Eulogy.  However, I could see that it had imperfections. I decided to let it rest for a while until I could come back and edit it with fresh eyes.  I’ve filled the pause by learning in depth about poetry, and along the way have been writing the poems that you see on this site.