Southsea poet encourages others to get writing

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AN inspirational woman who overcame severe learning difficulties to create a book of poems will be encouraging others to get creative.

Joanne Blandford, 29, of Rochester Road, Southsea, has already made more than £1,000 for the Portsmouth Self Advocacy Group from sales of The Best You Can Be.

She will be based at the city’s Central Library from Saturday, January 14 until Thursday, January 19, with a display of her poetry, which she hopes visitors will contribute to with their own writings.

Joanne, who has had letters of thanks from the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Linvoy Primus among other celebrities who received a copy of her book, said: ‘I have been so overwhelmed with the feedback about my poems.

‘I hope many people will come along to the library and put their ideas down – and feel they are the best they can be.’

A letter from St James’ Palace from Prince William said: ‘The Prince was most delighted to receive a copy of your poetry book and sends his congratulations for getting it into print.’