A TEENAGER with severe cerebral palsy impressed and moved literature lovers with his vast vocabulary and thoughtful writing at a Swindon Spring Festival event.

Jonathan Bryan, who created the memoir Eye Can Write, was unable to communicate for the first eight years of his life until a teacher found a way to transcribe his thoughts by following his eye movements over a board with the alphabet on it.

This allowed the young wordsmith from the Wiltshire village of Stanton St Quintin to feel, as he put it, like “a bird freed from its cage” and finally express his love of language and mischievous sense of humour.

Extracts from Jonathan’s book about the 13-year-old’s reasons for writing and his life at home and school read out by his sister Susannah and festival organiser Matt Holland and, in a video, by acclaimed author Sir Michael Morpurgo, provoked applause and laughter in equal measure.

Susannah read: “I love thinking of witty comments to make people laugh because when people chuckle, their whole countenance brightens. Experimenting with words is fun and though I don’t speak, I enjoy the sound each word makes. Writing is my first love.”

Jonathan’s mum Chantal helped him answer questions. One person asked if he had any writing tips. Jonathan replied: “Write about your passion in life.”

Another said: “I was astonished when I read this book. Not only is he a beautiful writer but he would be a marvellous companion for a blind person because his descriptions of how he sees the world are incredible, I’ve been inspired by him.”

Matt Holland said: “This book is magical, I could not believe it was written by someone so young and his way of writing is a brilliant reminder of what a marvellous invention language is. He writes in a way that is timeless and universal while telling his own personal story. If he was a chess player or tennis player and performing like this at his age, he would be called a genius or a prodigy.”

Jonathan hopes to be a “voice for the voiceless” and campaigns for all children to be taught to read and write, regardless of their label.