Friday, 17 June 2005

Manchester Yeah

First day feeling a bit better, weak, but suited and booted for my reading at Manchester library at lunchtime, a select turnout I have to say, but brunch with Rosie before the gig, and after the reading a lunch of oysters and a lovely goats cheese salad at Livebait with my co-reader, the fab Todd Swift.

Am disgruntled that no one from Commonword made the reading, seeing I've just been their Poet in Residence. poetry in the UK eh? what a funny thing. Anyway bugger that, it was a good reading, showed some new work, and left them wanting more....

Thursday, 16 June 2005


as in still ill, still off work, and still writing...just, major edit on "the Prize" today, and off to my publisher. i have a reading in manchester tomorrow so i'm saving all my energy for that, so I have tekn to my bed. dizzy, tired and too quiet for my own good.

My friend Serge sent me a dvd of him at work, he is a well known outsider artist, collected in USA, Germany and France. and he sent me a lovely phot of his newest painting, which the post office have mangled completely. I shall have to see if he has another copy. I love seeing artists at work, it is always inspiring, i like to know how people work. it is never as you think it is.

I have been listening to the new Keith Jarrett cd "radiance" a lot over the last few days, and really loving it. I didn't like it at first, these usually turn out to be the keepers..and I'm itching to start on Kathleen Jamie's new book "findings," but I can't read much at the moment with dizzyness an so on...and i have all my yoga stuff that I'm ploughing through to finish first...then some more Orwell

Tuesday, 14 June 2005

on going

Its been a weird two weeks, have had one type of illness after another, and am having to postpone gigs and workshops all over the place, now my voice is on the cusp of blowing out, which is deeply frustating, as i have 4 gigs this week, and 4 days doing workshops too, i think i will have to move today's sessions if I can get the school to agree, and get to the doctor again. perhaps my voice will hold through a short reading tonight, silence and honey and lemon and antibiotics perhaps. the scary thing though when you work for your self is the every day ill, is a day without income, there is no sick pay....

Been reading the first of TS Elliot's 'Quartets,' a meditation on time. i never realised he was so lyrical in a way. I am studying his form usage too, as I work on my pieces for the show at the Barbican in July

Friday, 10 June 2005

John Siddique's June Poetry News

Hello there
June is flying, the Summer Solstice will soon be upon us, and I’d like to say thank you for continuing to receive my occasional newsletter, and your continued support. I hope you are happy to continue receiving this newsletter, if you are not please let me know and I’ll take you off the list

I will be one of the Poets in Residence at New Writing Types which will be held in Norwich from 24th – 28th October 2005. New Writing Types is organised by The New Writing Partnership and is an annual gathering for ambitious new writers, publishing professionals and others from the literary world. Joolz Denby will be one of Writers in Residence and Katrina Porteous is the other Poet in Residence. Aminatta Forna and William Fiennes are the non-fiction Writers in Residence. The broad focus of New Writing Types this year will explore themes of place, cultural heritage, identity and voice. The week comprises a series of workshops, panel discussions, public readings and writers in focus sessions.
I am currently working on a new collection for Commonword, which should appear in the second quarter of 2006.
I have been commissioned by the Rainer Charity to write poems based on their work with under-supported young people. I will be going out with Rainer's workers throughout July and August. The poetry will be later interpreted by a visual artist and incorporated into an exhibition at Wigan's Drumcroon Gallery, and some of the poetry may surface in my 2006 collection.
Rialto will be publishing my first full collection 'The Prize' in August 2005. I am currently negotiating the finer points of the final manuscript.
One of my favourite poems, 'Other people's children,' appears in a new anthology 'Not so many words' from Smith Doorstop. The book consists of new writing by a selection of poets, who also have written commentaries about the process of writing each piece. Very useful if you want to see how a poet works. Price £7.00
'Helping out,' appears in MASALA, a anthology of poetry for children from MacMillan, Out Now. Price £4.00

Forthcoming live dates:
14th June, FourFathers, Bolton Library, Bolton, 6.15 pm 17th June, Off Centre Tour (with Todd Swift), On Being a Writer Q+A & Reading, Manchester Central Library, 1pm

18th June, FourFathers, Eccles, Eccles Library, 1.30. Call 0161 789 1430

Tai Chi Village Hall, 163 Palatine Road, Didsbury (behind the house.)
Former Poet in residence, John Siddique, plus students from the Commonword Advanced Poetry course serve up a sumptuous feast of poetry. Featuring: Suzanne Batty, Steve O’Connor, Almira Holmes, Martin de Mello, Rosie Garland and Hannah Kate.
Please note that the village hall is a no shoes venue, so wear your best socks!

19th July, Off Centre, The Barbican, London 8pm

3rd Aug, Poetry and PIMMS, Foxdenton Hall, Chadderton, Oldham 7pm

26th Sept, FourFathers, Wakefield, Venue and Time TBC
19th Oct, FourFathers, FOB Cafe, Sheffield, 8 pm
Workshops and other events in schools and for the public

24th June I will be one of the judges for the finals of The Lynk Reach Team Slam, held this year at Greenwich University.
27th and 30th June, Oxford Grove Primary, Bolton, for Artists in Schools
27th July, Portraiture in Poetry Workshop for Oldham MBC, Foxdenton Hall, Chadderton, Oldham 6-8pm
11th – 16th July, Arvon Foundation Course in partnership with renaissance one, with Co-Tutor Nick Barlay and Karen McCarthy as guest reader. Place still available on this here is the info for it if you are interested:
- Writing Residency: The Arvon Foundation 11 – 16 July 05

renaissance one in partnership with the Arvon Totleigh Barton, are offering a unique opportunity to writers: to have the time and space to write, as well as develop your presentation or performance skills. It is suitable for writers or poetry, fiction or prose.   The week offers group workshops, one-to-one sessions and tips of the trade from tutors Nick Barlay (prose, fiction) and John Siddique (poetry).
We offer:
An inspiring and dynamic environment set in a beautiful cottage in the heart of the Devon countryside.
Workshops and interaction with experienced tutors who will guide you in the craft of writing and performance.
a quiet and reflective space for writing.
Networking opportunities
Guest performers and speakers from the publishing and literary world. Themes include: the editing process, generating writing commissions and touring and promoting your work.
A course that focuses on performing and presenting work as well as the craft of writing, structure and form.
This course is suitable for those committed to pursuing a career in writing. renaissance one will offer continuing support to participants through follow up events.   
To apply or find out more about an extraordinary week of writing, reading and networking, contact renaissance one on 020 7987 3111   or email us at
I am always happy to discuss commissions and to run workshops, and am very interested in interfacing my work with other art forms such as visual art and dance. Currently I am happy to take bookings for September and onwards, which is beginning to book up now, but still has lots of room in it.
Thanks for reading....hope its sunny where you are
Kindest regards
John Siddique
News, Info and Weblog

Monday, 6 June 2005

back to school

the pre-summer school workshops extravaganza contines unabated, this is big earning times for jobbing writers, i'm about to skint myself fianally repaying credit card debts, the poets constant companion it often seems, i have had enough of their charms, its time to be debt free, skint, but debt free..and soon i keep promising myself, to get on with my writing....when, when, when,....this weekend i cry.