Homerton author hopes to inspire other to write

Hackney author JF Sheehan, known locally as Johnny, has written his first book at age 77

Hackney author JF Sheehan, known locally as Johnny, has written his first book at age 77 - Credit: JF Sheehan

A 77-year-old Homerton author, who could not read or write until he was 11, hopes his first book will inspire others to get into the craft. 

Author JF Sheehan, known locally as Johnny, once lived on Mabley Street Hackney but recently moved to Nottingham "for love". 

Johnny's book No Borders To Poetry was released on January 26. 

The book is made up of poems, short stories and several plays. 

Its author, now 77, told the Gazette what drives him to write: "Inspiration comes from observing everyday things, reading, and sometimes the tales people tell you, which I may weave into a story line.

"Poetry is the thoughts that come to you like a voice and you feel you must write them down.

"Anyone can do this, and your poem doesn't have to rhyme either."

No Borders to Poetry, written by JF Sheehan

No Borders to Poetry, written by JF Sheehan - Credit: JF Sheehan

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Johnny has been writing since his early teens. The first play he wrote, This Is Not The Way, was read by Sugawn Theatre in Islington in 1975.

Another of the writer's plays, Be true To Yourself, was performed at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2009 and he has a new project in the pipeline with the Belper Theatre Players.

Johnny was once a dance instructor in Hackney. 

He added: "But due to back troubles in 2015, my dancing years have come to a halt, and I am now disabled.

"Writing No Borders to Poetry has provided me with a new dimension in my life, and it's given me a huge sense of achievement."

Johnny hopes his book will encourage others to write. 

He said: "If you have some thoughts you’d like to express, write them down either on paper, on your phone or tablet, before your idea is lost."

The book No Borders to Poetry can be bought on Amazon.co.uk at a cost of £4.99 for the paperback or £2.99 for the Kindle version

Half of all book sales will go to The Canaan Trust, a Nottingham homeless charity.

Canaan Trust is an independent Christian charity which provides safe secure and healthy supported accommodation for homeless males aged 16 to 54.

Find our more at www.jfsheehan.com