‘Life on Location’ is Sheila Hopkins’ first published collection of poetry. Realising that her poetry has been inspired by the places and people she has encountered on life’s journey, she has grouped the poems according to the locations that inspired them. In its way, the poetry provides a guided tour of Sheila’s inner musings as she has journeyed through life, sometimes with humour and at other times with thoughtful reflection. A delightful and engaging collection of poems to enjoy.
Sheila Hopkins currently lives in Somerset with her husband, David. They have three grown up children, Emma (Hop), Joel and Thomas (Tom).
Whilst growing up in the north London suburbs, Sheila was regularly taken out into the countryside by her parents and learned to love nature. Her mother was an avid reader which inspired Sheila to enjoy reading herself.
Having studied for a degree in English Literature at Southampton University, Sheila went on to train as a teacher. Whilst working in her first job as an English teacher in Lincolnshire, she began to write poetry.
Returning home to London, Sheila met up with David, a friend she had known in Southampton. Their friendship developed and inspired more poetry (none of this earlier poetry appears in this collection). In 1988, they married and moved into a flat in London. The poems in the ‘London’ section were written before the children arrived. There isn’t much time to write poetry when you have small children!
From London, the family moved to Portishead where they lived for fifteen years. The poems in the Portishead section were mainly written in the last four years of their time there.
After Emma went off to university the rest of the family moved to Hampshire when Sheila was appointed as Parish Family Worker for Milford on Sea. During her time there, she was inspired to write further poems, some of which appear in this collection. Others, mainly faith based, will be published in a later collection.
During the seven years in Hampshire, Joel left home to train as a teacher, and Tom completed his secondary education. David was by this time working in Yeovil and, with Tom heading to university, Sheila left Hampshire to join David. Since moving, and having had opportunity to travel, she has added more poems to her collection, many of which appear in ‘Life on Location’.
From this biographical review, you will realise why the poet describes herself as widely unknown and her life as unremarkable. However, those who know her will agree that she has an enthusiasm for life, which she pursues with a delighted sense of humour.