Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Two Video Poems of John Siddique

I no longer remember where I first encountered British poet, essayist, and memoirist John Siddique but for some time now I have been following and enjoying Siddique's posts at A Writer's Life. Recently, I decided to search out more of Siddique's work and discovered online a number of his commissions, two of which I highlight below (others include pieces for BBC Radio, the Arts Council of England, and Lancaster University).

A British Council Writer-in-Residence at California State University/Los Angeles in 2009, Siddique is the author of Full Blood (Salt Publishing), forthcoming in April; Recital — An Almanac (Salt Modern Poets/Salt Publishing, 2009), Poems from a Northern Soul (Crocus, 2007), The Prize (Rialto, 2005), and a memoir, Four Fathers (Route Publishing, 2006). He also is the author of a children's book, Don't Wear It On Your Head, Don't Stick It Down Your Pants (Salt Publishing, 2010). In addition, Siddique has published work in many, many anthologies, a number of which are listed on his Website.

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The film Allegories of Power is a commission of the Bradford Council, in West Yorkshire, United Kingdom, and Cartwright Hall, Bradford's civic art gallery. Produced by freelance filmmaker Charlotte Taylor, who filmed the old textile machinery in Bradford Industrial Museum, Allegories of Power uses Siddique's two-part poem to beautiful effect. The voice is Siddique's.

The film is available on Vimeo to registered users.

In the video below, Siddique reads his poem "Lustre", which is inspired by pottery in an exhibition, "Exporting Beauty: Pilkington's Pottery and Tiles", on view at Manchester Art Gallery, Manchester, United Kingdom, until October 9, 2011. Siddique was commissioned jointly by the gallery and Manchester Literature Festival to respond to the exhibition, which features more than 100 pots and tiles made by the world-famous pottery company between 1893 and 1938. "Lustre" draws on the exhibit, the craft workers who fashioned the objects, the materials used, and nature, including Belle Vue Zoo, which one artist visited to make observational studies.

The film, made by Maria Gabriella Ruban, is one of a number of unique commissions celebrating MLF's fifth anniversary.

Lustre from Manchester Art Gallery on Vimeo.


A downloadable pdf of "Lustre" is here.

Moving Manchester Commission, for which Siddique wrote a sequence of poems, "From a Seed to a Flower: Five Poems From Real Lives", based on interviews with migrants in and around Piccadilly. Accompanying the poems are Siddique's photographs.

John Siddique's Kids' Site

John Siddique's Poetry Workshop

British Council Profile of John Siddique

Salt Publishing Profile of John Siddique

Poetry International Profile of John Siddique

John Siddique on FaceBook and Twitter

Manchester Literature Festival on FaceBook and Twitter

Early History of Pilkington's Tile and Pottery Company Ltd.

Pilkington Lancastrian Pottery Society


Louise Gallagher said...

I love the sub-title of his blog -- staying creative as a writer and a human being.

Tough that -- staying creative as a human being. But he seems to be doing it well on his mission -- and he is inspiring.

Love the Moon video. Very cool. I'll be back to visit him often.

thanks as always Maureen for bringing such inspiration to my world.

Happy New year!

Unknown said...

Dear Maureen
I am humbled by your post, and am so pleased that the work I do is meaningful to you. Indeed staying human is quite the task.. one that is well tested by Christmas and New Year. But thank you for making my day with your lovely blog.

Kindest regards


S. Etole said...

That quote really caught my attention ... will be back to check out the videos.

A., Jay Adler said...

Those video poems are splendid examples of how images and poems can work together evocatively but distinctly. Another great find. One of these days, if not already, a post from you will be a prized recognition for artist or writer.