John’s first full collection. Nominated for the Forward Prize and containing two of his most loved pieces ‘Cheap Moisturiser’ and ‘Variola.’
These poems tackle life full on, covering politics and race and the personal – childhood, being a parent, relationships, sex and love. With a refreshing directness John’s poems take an unblinking look at what it is to be alive. Speaking with a commanding voice and an appealing honesty, he is the ideal poet for twenty-first century Britain.
PINS AND NEEDLES
That bed, spread with colour like a Klimt kiss.
We are wrapped in cloth, wrapped in glist.
Bound up with each other. Jigsaw pieces of arms.
You find me down the side of the couch.
You sleep hard on my chest. It only takes a minute .
Your breath in time with my heartbeat, and you sleep.
I watch & guess the light through the blind cracks.
In the steep field opposite cows are sleeping,
huddled together. A warm black and white chin
steams on another's back.
We are wrapped in purple and gold thread,
you wanted to feel royal. My chin against your forehead,
my sleeping arm quite numb & dead, holding round your back.
© John Siddique 2005
‘John Siddique's poetry takes the reader on a journey, crossing the border country between love and loss, he charts his family's untold stories. Interested in exploring opposite worlds and seeming contradictions, his poetry is a brilliant balancing act. Sometimes steamy, often moving, The Prize is a bold, brave book with a big, open heart.’ - Jackie Kay - Poet Laureate of Scotland
'John Siddique's writing is playful and poignant. It explores the complexities of a fragmented world - of sex, family, loss and dream-life - with such clear-eyed, unsentimental candour that I go back to certain poems time and again for another immersion. He's not afraid of writing about love, its pain and rewards, its sudden, shocking forces and darkly funny epiphanies - and his poems demonstrate a generosity and humanity so often lacking in more brittle, defensive writers.' - Catherine Smith
'John Siddique's first collection, proves that he's onto something. He exhibits an impressive honesty.....There's originality and surprise down the spine of this collection....It's an exciting joy to read. An ultimately fresh and impressive debut, Siddique is definitely one to watch.' - The North
'Precise storytelling, eloquently captured moments and adroit turns of mood: from subtle, erotic and reflective to humorous, tormented and impish.....encourages regard for, and involvement with, a panoramic and endearingly human and messy vision of contemporary society.' - Poetry International