Sunday, 29 May 2011

Full Blood Reviews & Interviews

There is an Amazing review by Bina Shah of Full Blood in Pakistan's DAWN: Books & Authors Magazine. The print version also carries pictures and features the poem The Road from the book.

A piece with some interview elements in The Yorkshire Post

A Short interview with Sue Guiney on her blog about how I write and put a book together. There is also a poem from the book which will hopefully speak to the artist and writer in you..

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Ramblings with Claire Balding - Radio 4 in Hebden & Heptonstall

This airs Sat 21st and Thurs 26th. There's lots of chat about Hughes & Plath with a contribution from yours truly. No specific Full Blood content but some expolaration of life as a writer in the landscape I share with Hughes & Plath. On BBC iPlayer.

If you would like to follow this walk yourself, your soul will thank for it, I promise. Begin at the Bowling Club Car Park in Heptonstall, when you come out through the gate there is a wide country lane opposite follow for 5 minutes or so that and it will take to to the top edge of the valley looking way down onto Eaves, and away in the distance you'll just see green and trees. Turn right along the tops and follow this path, cliff top will change to woods after a while, continue through the woods until you come out on the small road that leads down to Lumb Bank. Go down that road a bit then follow the country track that runs up from the right, you will come to a place where five paths meet, follow the public footpath sign up the hill to Popples Common.

Turn Right and come down to the road near the old chapel. there is a footpath sign just along from the houses on the corner of Widdop Road, follow this path down until you are overlooking the valley which is Hardcastle Craggs take the path to the right and follow this along. eventually you will come to a road, cross this and head down to the left a bit through a gap in the wall and to another footpath, simply follow this and you will arrive just above Crown Point where the two benches afford one of the most amazing views anywhere on this island. When you're done, walk down through the village, take a right on Church Lane, past the church and yard and you will come to a high wall with a tall gate, go through this into the new graveyard.. and if you want to find Sylvia Plath's grave it is in here, but we'll leave this last part to you. There is also another very fine but much less well known poet buried in here, Asa Benveniste, whose beautiful writing I would encourage you to read, and perhaps you could give his spirit a moment of your time while you are here.

pics by John Siddique, except 'Group at Plath's Grave which is by Janina Holubecki

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Hawthorne Moon

'Isn't It Time....'

Written, Spoken, Directed by John Siddique
Music by Katie Chatburn
Produced and Final Edit by Walter Santucci

Part of 13 Moons from RECITAL - An Almanac

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Cerys Matthews reads another poem from Full Blood on BBC6 Music

The Lovely Cerys Matthews read another one of my poems from Full Blood on her BBC6 Music Show today. She read the piece 'One Monday Afternoon in Mytholmroyd.'

It's on BBC iPlayer for a week so you can take a listen and  it starts at 1.25.00

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Full Blood on Cerys Matthews' Show - BBC6 Music

Cerys Matthews played 'Thirst' from Full Blood on her radio show on BBC 6 Music today. You can hear it on BBC iPlayer: it starts at 1:19:30 please take a listen. Look out for another piece in coming weeks...

And please do let her know if you enjoy it.. Thank You Cerys from the Bottom of my heart. x

If you would like to hear Thirst without music here is the same vocal recording on its own


Full Blood is available here 

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

The Book As Teacher

It is fascinating  how each book has to teach the writer how to write it. As I begin what I hope will become my seventh book, I am humbled to find, again, that each new book means that you have to learn to write all over again. Sure some things do carry over: I know for example the stamina it takes to see a project through over several years, that the writing part isn't hard, but the staying creative part is. I also know how difficult it is for family and friends that this project is as important to me as anyone of them. Not an easy thing to admit but it is true, there is a price to all work, and true creative endeavour operates right at the familial level. Fortunately as life goes on and creativity becomes a regular part of it, those who love us learn what is needed, and that we are not going away from them. The artist also learns to not be so much of an arse. In my case having an office completely separate from home means I can enter the bubble of writing, pacing up and down, and talking to myself; without wearing my beloved out with what might appear to be the behaviour of a mad person.

This new book is taking your correspondent on new journeys. I find myself so reluctant to heed the call to adventure, after all there is so much to do in the ordinary world: marketing, public projects, the festival circuit, promoting my new poetry book. Yet the call has been made and though there aren't many words written yet, narratives, maps for the journey are laying themselves out in ink, calling me like a siren to taste what they have to offer.

Today this new book did the strangest thing, it moved from being a bright idea to being part of my body. One tool I use in my work is that I cover the office walls with thick lining paper held up by masking tape.  I need to think of many things simultaneously, so I write core ideas and process systems directly onto the walls as they are forming. Visitors to Siddique Towers often comment that it is like a mad professor's laboratory, with my huge leather couch for lying on and gazing at the walls, while I let my eyes sit on the thick black markered writing; little drawings, post-it notes and photocopies bits covering most of the room. I would put a photo of the office up here but all the stuff on the walls is live, so it's not really for anybody else's eyes. Not that any of it would make much sense to you. Fortunately my visitors tend to be people who know not to ask what the scribbles mean.

By absorbing these scribbles into my body the book begins to resonate with the literary music I feel inside myself which will underpin how the book is written. Each book has different music, this is something else that I am learning as I move into my twentieth year of writing. When this core music then meets the story and the inherently wonderful music of the language then the sparks fly and to continue the metaphor, there is melody - or in the writer's case literature.

Pic by Kilian Eng