Finally an Emmy for one of the best TV shows of all time
“the hardest thing in this world… is to live in it. Be brave. Live…”
"Buffy Anne Summers, 1981 - 2001. She saved the world. A lot."
Overhead the albatross hangs motionless upon the air
And deep beneath the rolling waves
In labyrinths of coral caves
The echo of a distant tide
Comes willowing across the sand
And everything is green and submarine.
And no one showed us to the land
And no one knows the wheres or whys
But something stirs and something tries
And starts to climb toward the light
Strangers passing in the street
By chance two separate glances meet
And I am you and what I see is me
And do I take you by the hand
And lead you through the land
And help me understand the best I can
And no one calls us to move on
And no one forces down our eyes
And no one speaks and no one tries
And no one flies around the sun
Cloudless every day you fall upon my waking eyes
Inviting and inciting me to rise
And through the window in the wall
Comes streaming in on sunlight wings
A million bright ambassadors of morning
And no one sings me lullabies
And no one makes me close my eyes
And so I throw the windows wide
And call to you across the sky
Fleetwood pier is on fire, I took this pic in July, and now we're loosing another one of our wonderful piers, I doubt if it will be rebuilt, there seems to be no interest from councils and developers in these beautiful 'Disappointed Bridges,' which is what James Joyce called them.
Taken last night at my reading at Sedbergh. Lovely to meet you if you were there.. thanks Sedbergh for a great weekend... and yes I ended up buying a load of books..
the British Monsoon season is causing what we call valley fever here in the Pennines, everyone is trying to keep on keeping on, and what else can one do but to look for the new each day and try to reflect that in the work. That’s my main job at the minute, I’m locked away writing a longish short story and a bunch of poems. It’s very interesting to see poetry being censored at the moment - Carol Ann Duffy’s poem about someone with a knife being taken out of school anthologies, perhaps we are only allowed to write safe poems that don’t talk about anything, perhaps we mustn’t be challenged to think about things. Our children must be protected from thinking. Perhaps all this rain has given the country valley fever - I do hope wherever you are you are finding the new in your own ways. It’s been a while since my last newsletter, over the next couple of months you’ll find me out and about on the road, details of those events below, but here is a poem for you, this is called the Wedding poem, I get asked every now and then for pieces for births, deaths and weddings, part of the poet’s job is to provide words for the important times in people’s lives I think, this piece was used by some friends over the summer, so I thought I’d share it with you. I hope the transition back into things is going smoothly for you after the summer hols.
A wedding is the good stuff & the tough stuff,
it is the road and the wheel.
A wedding is more than hands & bodies,
more than feelings and love.
A wedding is only the beginning,
if it is an end, then you’re only dreaming.
A wedding is public and private.
Keep your home in your hearts,
be together but stand apart.
A wedding is YES, and the learning begins.
A wedding is only words & flesh,
if you don’t match your souls.
© John Siddique
This weekend 6th & 7th September, I am at the Sedbergh Festival, conducting a workshop all day on the Saturday focusing writing about people and not indulging in sentimentality and cliché, and on the Sunday you will find me wandering around the town writing a poem about the people and the place, which I will include in a reading at 7pm that evening.
Cornwall & Devon
I have a number of events in Cornwall & Devon this month, Firstly for the Wicked Words Festival I will be Chairing a Readers Day at University College Falmouth, on 18th September featuring Patrick Gale, Mac Dunlop, Marina Lewycka, Marion Molteno, Simon Hall and Myself…. Then I’m Dashing over to Padstow Library for 5pm to read for a younger audience at their ‘Headspace.’ The next day I’ll be talking to schoolchildren at Wadebridge School. www.cornwall.gov.uk/library
Saturday the 20th September, I will be reading at, and hosting the Watermark Reader’s Day at Ivybridge, the other writers featured are Poppy Adams, Simon Hall, Deborah Moggach, and Jason Goodwin. www.devon.gov.uk.
Launch of the Cultural Olympiad at National Portrait Gallery
For the NPG’s launch of the Cultural Olympiad I will be doing a number of readings and workshops in what is probably my favourite gallery in the world.
26th September 7pm – I will be conducting a workshop called ‘The poetry of the Physical.’ Where we will be using images of athlete’s and sporting heroes to trigger writing about our own heroes and heroines, the people we admire, and ultimately asking the question what are the qualities we admire in others. We will be creating written portraits and elegies of those we admire.
27th September 11am and 4.30 pm – I will be giving readings of some of my own work which features aspects of portraiture within, and also reading a few favourite pieces by poets featured in the gallery’s collection.
Noon and 2pm – ‘Poetry Building,’ a more general poetry workshop, aimed at families and young people.
My Blackpool commission is on going, I read at a rock concert for them the other week, and there is even some John Siddique Blackpool Rock Floating around the place, but more importantly if you are nearby, I will be introducing the work of Pablo Neruda and screening ‘Il Postino,’ at Blackpool Odeon on 8th October at 6pm, This is part of the Wordpool festival. And the reason for talking about Pablo Neruda, simply love of the great man’s work and wanting to share it with others.
National Poetry Day
I have filmed a poem and an interview which will be used by Blackpool Schools to trigger some creative writing for their pupils, a kind of online poetry workshop, more detail’s nearer the time, please feel free to use this piece yourself if you work in a school or run poetry workshops.
The same poem ‘Simple Economics’ from ‘The Prize’ will be shown on the Poetry Society’s National Poetry Day page, it will also be available as an audio download.
I will dash from Blackpool to London to give a reading at 12.30 on The 9th October at the National Portrait Gallery, I will be reading from my own work and talking about what the job of a poet in the 21st century entails.
I will be giving a reading of new work and a handful of favourites at Shakespeare and Co on 16th October at 7.30pm, I will be joined by my dear friend Michi Gabriel, who will be reading from her latest chapbook. If you’ve not been to this amazing bookshop it is well worth checking out. Sterngasse 2, 1010 Innere Stadt, Vienna.
I was commissioned by fashion magazine ‘Dresscode,’ to write a poem about fashion, publication of this mag keeps being put back, the latest rumour is that it will surface in October, so hopefully it will appear then.
The Prize is being republished any minute now by Rialto, and should be back in the world very soon, and speaking of the wonderful Rialto a new poem ‘Cold water,’ will appear in the next issue.
I am afraid given my current schedule, I will only be working in a few schools over the autumn, but I am happy to book things in for 2009, if you represent a school and would like a visit for a reading or workshop, please get in touch sooner rather than later.
Nuff Said – Stay shiny
'In a world of universal deceit,
telling the truth is a revolutionary act.'
- George Orwell