I am a published poet, songwriter, and author, a Member of The Society of Authors, a Professional Member of BASCA (British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors), and a Professional Member of PRS (Performing Rights Society).
For many years, I taught creative writing at schools around the UK through the Arts Council of Great Britain ‘Writers In Schools’ scheme. I won a major bursary from West Midlands Arts to be a ‘creative writing assistant’ to their organization for three months and in that capacity I was the resident writer teaching pupils of all ages and all levels at two large comprehensive schools in their region.
I have performed at poetry readings and folk clubs and other music venues all over the UK. I read poetry and performed frequently at London’s Round House. A play in verse that I wrote was first performed in an improvised open air theatre at the first ever Glastonbury Festival, Glastonbury Fayre.
As a singer/songwriter and producer, among my other projects, I made an album of my songs that tell a story, recorded at the famous Rockfield Studios in Monmouth, and I toured the UK with a band to promote that album.
I also wrote a successful comic novella that same year and toured to promote the book, reading chapters from it, playing my music and reading my poetry all over England and Wales, sponsored by Courage, the largest brewers of beer in the UK, with my ‘show’ appearing in large venues at many of their more than 100 pubs which host various types of music and poetry events.
BBC UK’s popular ‘Woman’s Hour’ mainstream national radio program broadcast a 20 minute profile of me and my work, with the title ‘Portrait Of A Poet’, that had 13 million listeners and hit a chord with the public resulting in me receiving hundreds of letters.
Later, working as a literary editor and translator, among many other projects, I helped to produce a number of important books on oriental philosophy in general and Buddhism in particular that have over the years been translated into more than 30 languages. You can see details of the English editions of two of these books on the following publisher’s webpage: http://www.shambhala.com/authors/o-t/john-shane.html
My grandmother was a singer and comedienne who, when young, became a star on the music halls. In later life, after she married a prominent lawyer who had become one of her fans, together with her close friend Gracie Fields, she founded a charity for the benefit of what were known as ‘Variety Artists’ should they happen to fall on hard times, and as I grew up I helped her organize high-profile gala benefit concerts every year in London for her charities at which many famous names performed including, in their early days, The Beatles, as well as all the top TV comedians and most popular musical acts of the time.
As a result of meeting and becoming involved with many of these wonderful artists as a child, I developed a life-long interest in the theatre – in particular, in story-telling through songs and music – and for some time I have been working a number of musical theatre projects, including one about my grandmother and her extraordinary life.
I divide my time between London and Tuscany.
(Cover illustration above by John Shane from his multi-media project ‘The Winged Drum’.)
Bookwriter, Lyricist, Composer