Why Poetry? - Tales of autism from behind the mask - Nigel Johnston

Why Poetry? - Tales of autism from behind the mask

Yes, it’s Poetry! - But Why?

We all have a story to tell.
We just need to find the words.

Order a signed paperback below, or find it on amazon

Order a signed copy below


Thoughtful and considered verse, both humorous and poignant. No self-indulgent melancholy but a careful and measured account of a misunderstood life.

Kate S


I recently went on a search for poetry books overtly regarding lived experiences from fellow Autistic writers; of the...

Posted by Jaimes Lewis Moran - Poet, Writer on Monday, January 9, 2023

Jaimes Lewis Moran

I really love this book of poetry and feel that it is not just relevant to those with autism but anyone who has suffered, or is suffering, from depression, anxiety or loneliness. The poems are a mixture of topics and I particularly liked the ones about the writers experiences of anxiety and in some cases I thought yes, I know that feeling…..An uplifting book on a subject often misunderstood. Highly recommended.

Beautifully written poems that recount the author's struggles of living with autism in a world that often doesn't have a full understanding of how people perceive things in such varied and different ways.
I found some of the content quite emotional and it was a very moving read. It does not however, come across as a tale of self pity, but an honest reflection with some lovely hints of humour.
The poetry itself is very well structured and is intelligent and thoughtful.
It is a collection of poems that I will dip back into many times as I feel there is still much to discover within the lines.

Poetry Fan

I read all of Nigel’s book last night. It was very insightful and the poems were so good. A lot of food for thought also.

Isabel S


I read Nigel's poetry cover to cover today before I got started. Incredibly relatable to a lot of my own situations ☺️ really enjoyed it.

Ian P




Why Poetry? Tales of autism frombehind the mask

I knew this would be my last time in therapy, I couldn't do this again.

Things had to change and I needed help.

With such a small window of opportunity, I had to find a way to condense a lifetime of experiences into meaningful, relatable stories, which would suggest to my therapists that there might be more to this gibbering idiot than meets the eye.

Poetry became the voice I never had.

The poems in this book give an intimate glimpse into the aspects and consequences of an autistic life, and how poetry can be a powerful therapeutic tool.

Also, in some, you might just recognise yourself.

Illustrated by

Liane Matthews

Primarily a ceramicist, I met Liane when she was tutoring an occupational therapy pottery class (pottery is great fun, do try it).

She also does printmaking, drawing, sketches, a very talented lady.

In return for taking photographs of some of her ceramic pieces, I asked if she would be interested in doing the illustrations for “Why Poetry?” and she said "Yes, ok".

It was an interesting time as, until then, I hadn't shared the poetry outside the circle of therapy professionals. She was very kind in her review of it and I think she’s done a wonderful job of capturing the spirit of the poems with her drawings.

You can find Liane’s ceramics at her website:

About the Author

Nigel Johnston

At first glance you might see Nigel as a normal, friendly, albeit quiet individual.

Scratch the surface and you’ll soon get to the quirky layers.

Dig a little deeper and you’ll uncover the scientist, technologist, musician, photographer, and a world of creativity; all built upon a foundation of desperate struggles and hardships.

As many did, Nigel grew up in a time before autism was widely recognised and as such, blundered into every pitfall of the autistic traits. Nowadays he’s a lot more forgiving of himself and spends his time in nature taking photographs.

Nigel Johnston's books on Goodreads
Why Poetry?: Tales of autism from behind the mask Why Poetry?: Tales of autism from behind the mask
reviews: 1 ratings: 2 (avg rating 4.00)

Order Online

You can order your signed copy of 'Why Poetry?' right here, and even add your own dedication, if you like.
Why Poetry? Tales of autism from behind the mask

Why Poetry? Tales of autism from behind the mask

£ 9.99

By the time I was referred to Lake House my world had imploded and my body was tearing itself apart. Anything and anybody beyond a single room of my small flat was too much for me to cope with. A lifetime of masking and faulty coping mechanisms had finally caught up with me.

I got lucky.

In Stock

Enter your custom message below and I'll write it inside your book with my favourite pen.

Powered by Phoca Cart