John Siddique (born 1964) is best known as a British spiritual teacher, poet, and author.
He is the founder of Authentic Living, through which he aims to encourage people from all walks of life awaken to what he calls their 'true naturalness.'
The Times of India calls him 'Rebellious by nature, pure at heart.' Siddique is not aligned with any particular religion, philosophy, or tradition. Known for his authenticity, humour, and ‘feet on the ground’ wisdom, his has quietly reached millions of people in many ways, through books, apps, downloads, broadcasting, retreats, classes and talks. He has published six books and had numerous pieces published all around the world. He has written for BBC National Radio including programs on Near-Death Experiences and The Cultural Impact of The Indian Partition.
Siddique is the Honorary Fellow in Creative Writing at Leicester University. He is the former Canterbury Laureate, and British Council Poet in Residence at California State University, Los Angeles. He has held a number of roles with the Royal Literary Fund, including being the RLF Fellow at York St. John University. Alongside his spiritual work, he currently serves as an Editorial Board Member for the RLF.
Born in the United Kingdom, Siddique initially had a difficult early life and rebelled against school and society. He later attended Manchester University as a mature student gaining a Master’s Degree in Literature. His study of meditation, yoga, and inner healing began at the age of fourteen, at first from books, then in the deep practical study of the great religions and practices, before setting all labels aside after a series of profound shifts in consciousness which included a near-death experience in 2014.
The young Siddique immersed himself in the world of books through his local library. Before becoming a writer he drifted through various jobs such as being a roadie, a pipe-welder, and landscape gardener. He first began writing in 1991 after reading James Joyce's Ulysses and discovering the poetry of e.e. cummings, Walt Whitman, and D.H. Lawrence. He has stated in interviews that he regards his true countries of birth to be "literature and language".
Full Blood (Salt, 2011)
Recital – An Almanac (Salt, 2009)
Blackpool - A Poet’s View (Blackpool Council, 2009)
Poems from a Northern Soul (Crocus, 2007)
Transparency (editor) (Crocus, 2006)
The Prize (Rialto, 2005)
The Devil's Lunchbox (Crocus, 1996)
Four Fathers (co-author) (Route, 2007)
Don’t Wear It On Your Head (Salt, 2010)
New Writing 15 (Granta)
The Fire People (Payback/Canongate)
The HarperCollins Book of English Poetry (Harper Collins)
Out of Bounds (Bloodaxe)
RED (Peepal Tree)
Life Lines – Poets for Oxfam CD
I Am The Seed That Grew The Tree (Nosy Crow/National Trust)
Prizes, awards and honours
Royal Literary Fund Fellow – York St. John University 2013-15
Honorary Creative Writing Fellow at Leicester University
Arts Council of England Writer’s Awards 2005, 2006, 2007, 2011
Shortlisted for CPLE Poetry Award 2007
Nomination for Best First Collection - Forward Prize 2005
Nomination for Best Poem - Forward Prize 2004
Canterbury Poet Laureate 2016
Royal Literary Fund Fellow - York St. John 2013/15 & 2014/15
Manchester Literature Festival 2010
Los Angeles for The British Council 2009
Blackpool - Poet in Residence 2008
Manchester Art Gallery 2008
Fundacion Valparaiso 2006
The Rainer Charity, Wigan 2005
Commonword/BBC Manchester - Poet in Residence 2005
Ilkley Literature Festival - Poet in Residence 2004
HMYOI Wetherby - Writer in Residence 2000 – 03
Ledbury Poetry Festival - Writer in Residence for Young People 2000 – 03
The LOWRY - Poet in residence 2000 – 01
Prestwich NHS Trust - Poet in Residence 2000