John Siddique’s Full Blood

Author photo © Jojo Stott

John Siddique was born in 1964. His discovery of his local library when young began his life-long love affair with what words mean and how they sit together. He is the bestselling author of Recital – An Almanac, Poems From A Northern Soul, The Prize and now Full Blood (Salt Publishing, 2011). He is the co-author of the story/memoir Four Fathers.
He has contributed poems, stories, essays and articles to many publications, including Granta, The Guardian, Poetry Review and The Rialto.
The Prize, published to wide acclaim in 2005, was nominated for the Forward Prize. His children’s book Don’t Wear It On Your Head was shortlisted for the CLPE Poetry Award in 2007. On publication in 2009, Recital was described as “one of the most important British poetry books of the last twenty years” by Lauri Ramey of CSULA. Jackie Kay describes Siddique’s writing as “A brilliant balancing act”.
Siddique is admired for his captivating readings and his infectious love of literature. He teaches poetry and creative writing in the United Kingdom and abroad and has worked with the British Council, the Arvon Foundation, the Poetry School and the Poetry Society. He has a website at

Full Blood is John Siddique’s fourth full-length collection of poems for adults. Erotic, physical, completely open and fully engaged with the moral urgency of life, Siddique tackles his themes robustly and yet with great sensitivity, constantly defining and reimagining what it is to be a man in today’s world, living full in the moment. Marking a serious development in the writer’s work (as well as the mind of this significant British poet) this is Siddique’s most emotionally charged work to date.
“John Siddique’s new collection takes the reader down the street and round the world. This is a brave and a bold book of linked poems whose subjects range widely from love to hate, from war to peace, from childhood to adulthood, from the real world to the world of myth. Siddique is interested in everything. Tender and open-hearted, these poems are full of wonder at the power of love. Dreamy and yet direct, this is Siddique’s most powerful collection yet.”
– Jackie Kay
“In this beautiful new collection John Siddique seduces the reader with his life-affirming reflections on our mortality and a profoundly moving poetic interplay of tenderness, love and eroticism.”
– Dr. Claire Chambers
Love Poem
(for A.G.)
I will take you strongly in my arms,
sky over my earth.
I will leave my burdens down,
earth over my core.
I will love you as
the sun lights a bird’s back.
I will stand with you as
we give our hearts to life’s great keeping.
Sky over my earth.
Lay your burdens down.
Earth over molten core.
Sun of a bird’s back.
Keeping our promise to live by living.
I will take you strongly in my arms.
Imagine thirst without knowing water.
And you ask me what freedom means.
Imagine love without love.
Some things are unthinkable,
until one day the unthinkable is here.
Imagine thirst without knowing water.
Some things we assume just are as they are,
no action is taken to make or sustain them.
Imagine love without love.
It is fear that eats the heart: fear and
endless talk, and not risking a step.
Imagine thirst without knowing water.
Fold away your beautiful thoughts.
Talk away curiosity, chatter away truth.
Imagine love without love.
Imagine believing in the whispers,
the screams and the gossip. Dancing to a tune
with no song to sing inside you.
Imagine love without love.
from Full Blood (Salt Publishing, 2011).
Order Full Blood.
Launch details
Date: 5 May 2011
Time: 18h00
Venue:  Manchester City Library, Deansgate, Manchester

Date:  22 June 2011
Time:  19h30
Venue:  Poetry Café, Poetry Society, 22 Betterton Street, London
Dress code for both events is ‘sexy with a touch of red’.

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