My dad, Nigel Winn, died quite suddenly of cancer in 2006 aged 56. Since his death I have been meaning to collect his writing and publish a selection of his poetry. It’s taken me ten years to make time for this, in between having a daughter, getting married, building a house, chasing and holding onto employment and also trying to come to terms with the loss, too.
Dad left behind a collection of poems, a short play and other pieces of writing. He was a bricklayer and carpenter most of his life but started writing actively during the period 1996-2006. During that time, he studied for a BA in English Literature at the University of Lincoln, where he gained a First Class degree. He went on to teach at the university, and was popular among students. Following his death, colleagues established the annual Nigel Winn Memorial Prize for Creative Writing.
His work is quite autobiographical and therefore especially meaningful to those who were close to him. I used Lulu to self-publish this selection of his poetry. It’s very satisfying for me and my family to have a physical copy of his published work and I think that people who knew Nigel may like to purchase a hardback copy of the book, too. I make £0.06p on every copy sold because Lulu won’t allow me to reduce the author’s profit to £0 for some reason. A PDF proof of the book can be downloaded here. Thank you for reading it. He was a really good man.
CW MILLS met NIGEL WINN on May 26th 2006 at home by his hospital bed, which was on loan.
CW MILLS SAID: I heard that you hated work, you never made any money, you laid bricks most of your life, you left school with no qualifications, you were constantly trying to reinvent yourself and now you are dying of cancer at 56. The world has failed you.
NIGEL WINN SAID: I married my childhood love. I wrote poetry and a book no-one ever saw. I had children and friends. I danced naked in the garden with my love on the summer Solstice. I had little money and didn’t need much either. I went to University aged 50, got a 1st in English and became a lecturer aged 54. The cancer will take me quick. I’ve said goodbye. I am having visions of my mother and Queen Victoria and the flowers outside look so beautiful. Tomorrow I will die with dignity among people I love and who love me.
NIGEL WINN died the next day after drowning himself with a glass of water. His wife and children watched until the last breath.
THE CONSEQUENCES WERE: NIGEL WINN’s sons dug his grave and buried him. People grieved. There was silence. Dignity. A prize in his name. Despite it all.