John Siddique, the bestselling author of Full Blood, Recital – An Almanac, Poems From A Northern Soul, and The Prize, was kind enough to invite me to read my poetry at A Northern Soul (Reading & Book Signing) at Waterstone’s Bradford Wool Exc, on 6 October, Saturday, at 11.30.
Two features about John Siddique’s poetry that most stand out for me are: its unforced sincerity and its unapologetic political stance. Both remind me of the poetry by my favourite poet, Vladimir Mayakovsky. John Siddique is not afraid to tell the American government (or its arms industry, which is much the same) that their empire will fall, as in “To the leader of the free world”, or to the British government that in our supposedly developed country there are areas with life conditions of the poorest countries, as in “King Street, Wigan”, or “Involution”.
His love poems, be it for his lover or his mother, are hot with heart-felt feeling – but tenderly hot, not scaldingly hot. (Cheap Moisturiser, Pins and Needles)
John Siddique’s poems always leave you more awake – and that is one of the principal goals of poetry, I believe. His poetry tickles your nose, and tingles on our tongue, and reminds your feet of the solidness and warmth of earth (Lustre).
In addition, the poems, however dark the subject matter can be, always leave you hopeful for the better future. His poetry’s optimism stems from connection to timeless mythological entities, as in “Tree of the World”, or a haiku “Eagle”. In fact, John Siddique has the ability to naturally weave mythological motifs into narratives about everyday life and love (Love Poem).
I feel privileged to be able to read next to this poet. On 6 October, I will be reading my poetry accompanying myself on my little frame drum. I am planning on performing a mix of observational poems, little amusing rhyming poems, love poems and poems inspired by works by my favourite poets, possibly with a few of my haiku thrown in.