Charles Browne

Charles Browne was born in Lambeth Hospital in 1966. He grew up in a large house with a big family and as a boy was sociable and athletic. Aged 9 Charles' family divided and he, his mother and brother moved to a small flat. A thoughtful dreamer, exams weren't his forte, so he left school at 17, not sure what to do.

Around this time, hanging out with friends and plugged into his Walkman, Charles first started to experience paranoia. He dabbled in different jobs and aged 19 he began training to be an Optical Technician.

Around this time, hanging out with friends and plugged into his Walkman, Charles first started to experience paranoia. He dabbled in different jobs and aged 19 he began training to be an Optical Technician.

When Charles first started hearing voices he didn't tell a soul. When he finally shared his concerns and was prescribed medication, he overdosed and found himself in a psychiatric hospital. Life was never the same again. Charles worked in various opticians until 1994 with short periods of work following, but life became a haze of drop-in centres and hospitals.

In 2005 Charles had a serious breakdown and ended up in various hospitals for two years. It was at this time that he started writing poetry. Dark and troubled months ensued but he came out the other side. Charles has been a volunteer at Blackfriars Settlement for over 10 years. He has been a part of a poetry group at CoolTan Arts for the last 7 years. Charles is a father. Charles is a poet.

 

Charles Browne

"Here I am now 2015 still paranoid, still hearing voices, still trying to be a good dad, still at CoolTan Arts, still at Blackfriars Settlement volunteering. I have amazed myself with my resilience over the years from illness to illness, panic attacks to panic attacks from my anger at the world and myself to still being on this earth to have a chance to really live again."

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Red Sky at Night

Red Sky at Night book cover