John Siddique

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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'.

In the field of literature, 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 served as a Royal Literary Fund Fellow at York St. John University.

Personal life[edit]

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.[1] 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.[2] He has stated in interviews that he regards his true countries of birth to be "literature and language".[3]

In late 2014 Siddique became very ill and underwent a near-death experience, he says that as he died, he felt an infinite love that was beyond intimacy, and that he distinctly heard a voice telling him to 'leave his old work and go and talk with people.' It was this that led him to become a spiritual teacher.

Published works[edit]

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)

Short stories
Four Fathers (co-author) (Route, 2007)

For children
Don’t Wear It On Your Head (Salt, 2010)

Selected anthologies
New Writing 15 (Granta)
The Fire People (Payback/Canongate)
The HarperCollins Book of English Poetry (Harper Collins)
Masala (MacMillan)
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
Hawthornden Fellowship
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


  1. ^ "Poetry International". Archived from the original on 2011-07-27.
  2. ^ "The Rialto".
  3. ^ "The London Magazine". Archived from the original on 2010-02-09.

External links[edit]