Thursday, 31 May 2007

Lost toy rabbit in Hebden Bridge

Lost rabbit
Originally uploaded by John Siddique.

Hebden is no place for a poor lost rabbit, if he's yours, he sitting in the Bookcase bookshop window on the main street..

I just had to take his picture.. can I go home too..?

BBC Interview Moved to 1st June

austria May 2007 - 11.jpg
Originally uploaded by John Siddique.

my interview on the BBC Asian Network has been moved to 1st June at 10 am UK time... that's 11am for my lovelies in Austria..

this is the show I will be on..


up early this morning, trying to find a way back into the world, must say my neighbour John the Wiz has been a total star, on hand with homemade cakes, silly movies... and I provide the whisky.. Ohhh


music this morning The Enid, oh most underrated silly english band from the 70's and 80's how i still love them.. listening to some of their singles, and the fantastic 'In the region of the summer stars' lp.. and also a few schubert 'impromptus' played by Andreas Schiff


a friend has posted me some poetry by Pablo Neruda that i have not read before.. so I'm itching to get to that this morning, but a few bits and pieces first.. can I just point out the joy of a good pen and good paper to write on, I might be simple, but this little pleasure is a constant in my life.. it's funny how the small things are the big things really.


John (who is closing himself as fingers this morning)

Wednesday, 30 May 2007

please take a look here

please read this if you have time, it's from my writing hero Joss whedon, but it's not about vampires it's about us..

Joss I believe is right, it is a time for a new activism from those of us who can, and we can all make some kind of contribution to our world, but standing back saying how terrible isn't going to change anything about anything. we have been sold in to pretty palaces of playstations and plasma tv's, and our fear triggers have been manipulated so much we can barely breathe anymore. it is time to breathe out again, and it's going to be scary... thinking for one's self.. doing some small thing.. but if we don't where are we going to end up?



ps - there is a petition online about the issue Joss has been talking about here -

please have a read and a think at least..

non religious based child sponsorship


something i have been pondering for a while, is how all the child sponsorship programmes seem to be run by 'religious' organisations, usually christian, though there is a fake buddhist charity too that i know of.. i for one cannot bring myself to trust this type of organisation, and whilst I am currently looking for a way to make some more kind of contribution to the world, i want to do it with out mentally scaring anyone with indoctrination... those of you who have read my books and blog, will know i believe in god, but not in religion. if you need to know more about this idea, feel the voice within you and it's urgings, then watch the news.. the math just doesn't add up.

if you know of a suitable charity where i can place some of my energies, particularly if in the uk please let me know..



Tuesday, 29 May 2007

Review of Saturday's Workshop & Reading

Workshop Group Shot
Originally uploaded by John Siddique.

John Siddique’s Poetry Workshop and Reading:

The poetry workshop that took place on 26 May 2007 at the Hauptb├╝cherei am G├╝rtel was exciting and different for me.  Although I do write, I have never tried my hand at poetry, so it was really great to get tips on what to do from an expert.  John explained everything well, was funny and kept us working hard.  I learned what anthologies to buy to help my poetry reading, what focus or shifting focus to use when writing; I learned that it is better to show the reader what we want to say rather than just telling them, and that a good way to find content is by having a list of what poetry could be about.  As we also had time to try out these ideas through actually writing poetry, the experience was very valuable; and we could see the results as members of the workshop read what they had written.  Two hours was just enough, but a follow-up workshop would have been even better.

John’s poetry reading just an hour later was too short.  It would have been wonderful to hear even more of what he has written.  His poems about his parents were impressive and because he told us something about himself before, added an extra dimension to his reading of them.  His children’s poems could be appreciated just as well by adults and besides the content – he has a lovely voice.  Naturally I would like to hear more.
Dr. Candy Fresacher is a member of the board of TEA (Teachers of English in Austria) and editor of the ELT News.

Austria Pics now online

austria May 2007 - 53.jpg
Originally uploaded by John Siddique.

i can barely speak, the last week in Austria, has done something to me, it was one of the best, scariest, most incredible weeks of my life...

as i try to are some of my photos from my trip

please leave comments if you wish.
i'll try and say more, as I figure things out, it's a different man who has come back from this trip...


i have been rereading a lot of ee cummings poetry, seems to fit with the moment somehow, have also discovered the photos of Roy Stuart (don't look him up unless you are very broadminded.)


thank yous - julia, barbera, iga, tini, josephine, katherina and every one else on the team who made the week possible. and thank you to all the young people at my workshops for them, everyone at the other workshops and lectures, and at the readings...

Monday, 28 May 2007


school mural
Originally uploaded by John Siddique.

Embrace the madness
Enjoy the cleaning
Enjamb our loving
Enfold the risks

Monday, 14 May 2007

My Childrens' Book Shortlisted for CLPE Poetry Award

John Siddique - Book Cover
Originally uploaded by John Siddique.

Shortlist for the 2007 CLPE Poetry Award.

John Siddique: Don't Wear It On Your Head, Don't Stick It Down Your Pants (Peepal Tree Press)

Jackie Morris (compiler and illustrator): The Barefoot Book of Classic Poems (Barefoot Books)

Chrissie Gittins: I Don't Want an Avocado for an Uncle, illustrated by Kev Adamson (Rabbit Hole Publications)

Julie Johnstone (editor): The Thing That Mattered Most. Scottish Poems for Children illustrated by Iain McIntosh (Scottish PoetryLibrary/Black & White Publishing)

Gaby Morgan (editor): Fairy Poems, illustrated by Matilda Harrison (Macmillan)

Tony Mitton: My Hat and All That, illustrated by Sue Heap (Corgi Yearling)

This will be the fourth year of the CLPE Award - the only prize in this country for a book of children's poetry. The judges are Ian Mcmillan, Fiona Waters and Margaret Meek Spencer; the winner will be announced on Wed 13th June.

CLPE, Webber Street, London SE1 8QW More details on the CLPE website -

Wednesday, 9 May 2007

May News

Hey there,
I hope life is good for you, I am so glad the rain has come here at last, I thought we were going to turn to dust, It’s a busy time for everyone at the minute, so I’ll keep this newsletter short, My new book ‘Northern Soul,’ finally launches tomorrow at Manchester Library, I’ll be joined by my lovely friend Cherry Smyth who is a wonderful Irish Poet, Hope to see some of you there if you can make it. Northern Soul has been selling loads through Borders, and at readings which is brilliant, The Prize keeps on being a strong seller too. Friday sees the last ever ‘Four Fathers’ event, at The Mac in Birmingham, it’s been quite a ride for us all, we are meeting soon to talk about writing the next ‘Four ….. book.’ We’re not going away! I am giving a interview on the BBC Asian network about my London Bomb poems on 31 May at 10.15 am, it’s being broadcast nationally, and you will be able to phone in if you have any questions. Here’s a poem from Northern soul, I guess it’s a prayer for dear old Britain.

Desire for sight (after Lorca)

When gossip starts all that is left is gossip.

When fear takes hold, all that is left is the fear.

Fold away your papers,
colour in the outlines.

Regret is the first town our train will pass though.

Unknowing, the confusion of unknowing.

Let my country see itself,
may its people be visible to each other.

© John Siddique 2007
from ‘Poems from a Northern Soul’ (Crocus) isbn 0946745870


Publishing News

Coming up in the world of magazines:
A number of pieces and an interview with me appear in the spring edition of ‘Poetry Salzburg.’

June 4 will see two of my ‘London Bomb’ poems published in The British Council’s ‘New Writing 15’ anthology, Edited by Bernadine Evaristo and Maggie Gee (I’m very happy to speak or give interviews in relation to this.)

I have a Photo essay based around the word YES coming up in the new issue of manchester’s DXN magazine, the photos are also by me

There is an interview about my work in the new issue of the Yorkshire arts mag Northern Exposure.

Poems from a Northern Soul is out now!!!! Collecting together many of my poems from commissions at The Lowry, BBC Manchester, Commonword, and featuring the poetry portraits of young homeless people from Wigan written for the Rainer Charity. You can order the book now from Amazon and Boarders is carrying it big time. BOOK LAUNCH May 10th at Manchester Central Library at 1pm

Don't wear it on your head, don't stick it down your pants
A collection of poetry for young people about the good stuff of life, our amazing senses, language, love, gossip and cheese, is available now, order from any good bookshop, or online from You can hear and read poems from the book at

My first collection ‘The Prize’ (Rialto) is available from The Rialto and Inpress or through any good bookstore, and ‘Four Fathers’ my co-authored collection of stories and meditations about fatherhood and being a son is available from ROUTE.

Schools and Young People
I will be working with young people in Vienna for a week this month, and in June I an working with Yr6s from schools in Buxton looking at their expectations of going to High School, then I’ll be back in October to get up to date with them and see how the transition has been. Material from the Buxton scheme will then be used to help future Yr6s make their transitions. Also June will see me running workshops and reading for young people at The Festival of Words at Farnham Maltings. I am now taking schools bookings for September onwards.

Live Events
10 May, Official Launch of 'Poems from a Northern Soul,' with guest Cherry Smyth
Manchester Central Library, 1pm
11 May, Four Fathers, The Mac, Birmingham
15 May, Creative Writing Workshops at Buxton Opera House
16 May, Creative Writing Workshops at Buxton Opera House
16 May, 'An Audience with John Siddique, ' Buxton Opera House 7.30pm
19 May, Moor Allerton Library, Leeds, 11am - Noon
20-27 May 'Between the Words' Tour of Readings, Schools,
and Workshops Various venues across Austria.
22, June 'An evening of poetry with John Siddique 'Festival of Words,' Farnham Maltings, Surrey, 7.30pm
23 June, Writing Workshop 'Festival of Words,' Farnham Maltings, Surrey, 10am
24 June, Writing Workshop 'Festival of Words,' Farnham Maltings, Surrey, 10am

Bits & Bobs
if you follow my blog, I must apologise for not being up to date with it, I have been working hard on what will eventually become a novel, so when big writing is on, it seems the blog is less, will try to post occasionally, wink.

Stay shiny
John Siddique

Thursday, 3 May 2007

novel depths

Trees by Chris Robinson
Originally uploaded by John Siddique.

hi all

apologies for not blogging for a while, am away working on the novel some more and catching up with friends, an dseeing a lot of art. there is not much of an internet connection here, so I'll be back soon.

hope to see some of you next week in wolverhampton, manchester and birmingham.

hope all is well in your world