Opening Jamie Woolery’s book of poems is like stepping outside into weather, air, sunlight, the spaces between things, and the possibilities of love, change, and staying the same. It is a calmly thrilling first collection. John Ashbery
Jamie Woolery was born in rural Ohio and educated at Yale. He veered from molecular biology and biophysics to medicine, where he settled down.
After a psychiatry residency at UCLA’s Neuropsychiatric Institute, where he was a student of Robert Stoller, and a year as a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar, Dr. Woolery eventually made his way to Kaiser Permanente in 1990. In the summer of 2005 he was appointed Chief of Psychiatry. He retired in 2014.
Dr. Woolery has published a small book of poems, By Parked Cars, which was praised by John Ashbery, one of America’s most esteemed poets. Under the pseudonym Jamie Irons (Irons is his mother’s family name), other poems have appeared in various literary magazines, including the Carquinez Poetry Review, and the Zyzzyva.
With his wife Nina Schwartz, who is also a retired psychiatrist, Dr. Woolery has raised four sons, all of whom work in technology. Woolery fritters away his time watching birds, learning mathematics, botanizing, fly fishing, and raising an orchard of six varieties of olive trees from Tuscany. He is also an active supporter of The Land Trust of Napa County.
In his semi-retirement, Jamie tutors mathematics up through calculus and linear algebra to local high school and junior college students (he does it for free in an effort to give something back to his community). He also teaches himself higher math , including real and complex analysis, abstract algebra, and analytic number theory, believing, as Richard Feynman told Herman Wouk, that math “is the language God talks.”