Greta Sykes spent her childhood and youth in the fire bombed town of Hamburg in Germany after WW2. The chaos of masses of displaced refugees, her own homelessness and her mother’s struggle to survive with her five children made lasting impressions in the early years. She started to write poetry in Germany and now writes in both English and German. Greta studied philosophy, art, education and psychology. Her working life as a psychologist has given her the freedom to buy coursework, paint and draw without financial constraints. She is a life-long diary writer and never leaves the house without her ‘moleskin’ notebook. It contains drawings, observations and poems. One of her favourite activities is observing people in cafes and concerts and drawing them.
Greta has been a member of the ‘London Voices’ poetry group since 1989. The group is represented in the Poetry Library with many anthologies. London Voices publishes anthologies of its members’ works annually. Greta frequently reads her poems at the Poetry Café in Covent Garden in London and has participated in many poetry ‘slam’ sessions, workshops and readings around London. Her drawings and paintings appear in most of the anthologies.
Greta currently works as a Chartered Psychologist (the British Psychological Society (BPS)) and Academic Tutor at the Institute of Education, London University, specialising in child and adolescent wellbeing and the role of parents and parenting. Training qualifications include a Masters degree in Art and Education, a Masters degree in Educational Psychology and a Doctorate in Educational Psychology. She is an editor of the newsletter of the Division of Educational Psychologists. Her psychological work involves being a representative for the BPS on European fori. This represents one of her long-time passions as an internationalist and socialist. Her academic publications can be accessed on the internet.