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Full Blood (Salt Modern Poets) [Paperback]

John Siddique
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
RRP: £9.99
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Book Description

1 April 2011 Salt Modern Poets
"Full Blood" is John Siddique's fourth full-length collection of poems for adults. Erotic, physical, completely open and fully engaged with the mortal 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 fully 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.

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Full Blood (Salt Modern Poets) + Recital: An Almanac (Salt Modern Poets S.)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Salt Publishing (1 April 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844718247
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844718245
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 14 x 0.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 433,997 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

John Siddique is the author of Full Blood, Recital - An Almanac, Poems From A Northern Soul, and The Prize. His poetry collection 'Don't Wear It On Your Head is a perennial favourite with younger readers. He is the co-author of the story/memoir Four Fathers.

His poems, essays and articles have featured in Granta, The Guardian, Poetry Review, The Rialto and on BBC Radio 4. The Spectator refers to him as 'A stellar British poet.'The Times of India calls him 'Rebellious by nature, pure at heart.' Acclaimed novelist Bina Shah says he is 'One of the best poets of our generation.' Jackie Kay speaks of Siddique's writing as being 'A brilliant balancing act.'

The Times describes Full Blood as 'Technically virtuosic yet direct and sensual ' and Dawn - Books & Authors says his book is 'Bold as love... Each word is to be savoured like a sip of forbidden wine.' His book Recital is referred to as 'One of the most important British poetry books of the last twenty years' by Professor Lauri Ramey of CSULA.

Siddique is well known for his captivating readings, and his infectious love of literature. He a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and is the Royal Literary Fund Fellow at York St. John University. John is the former British Council Writer-in-Residence at California State University - Los Angeles, and he holds the title of Honorary Creative Writing Fellow at Leicester University.

Product Description


Siddique's new poetry collection contains powerful reflections on love, loss, war, peace and alternative modes of living for these days of financial and political turmoil. In one sequence, The Knife, he discusses racism in northern England; in another, Reclaiming the Body, love and sex are described with tender honesty. Technically virtuosic yet direct and sensual, this is a collection I keep returning to. (Claire Chambers Times Higher Education Supplement)


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)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A strong commitment to the art of poetry 8 July 2012
Full Blood is one of the most exciting collections of British poetry I've come across in the last few years. John Siddique stands apart from the much of the poetry scene in Britain that, with a few exceptions, seems to be dominated by crude confessionalism and even cruder moralism. Here Siddique presents us with poems that call on his life for inspiration. Whether about childhood or adulthood, Siddique's poems draw you into experiences rather than places in time.

Whilst it appears that Siddique is telling us his own story, he uses many voices to do so. This approach puts me in mind of the great American Objectivist poet Charles Reznikoff (1894 - 1976). The basic tenets of Objectivist poetics as defined by Louis Zukofsky were to treat the poem as an object, and to emphasise sincerity, intelligence, and the poet's ability to look clearly at the world. Reznikoff's works drew on his own personal experiences, yet they went beyond mere autobiography. The `sincerity' that Zukofsky spoke of should not be confused with the Romantic concept of `truth', in which the artist was expected to present his version of truth about the world almost as beautified fact. The `sincerity' of the Objectivists was a commitment to the poetry as an object, to be appreciated as a poem.

John Siddique fulfills this definition, though one gets the impression with each work that it does not want to stay in the same world, that it wishes to keep moving ahead: finding new expressions and new voices to convey the poetry to the world. Full Blood is an outstanding collection that displays all that is great and exciting about the art of poetry. John Siddique is disciplined without being distant, and intimate without being dogmatically self-referential. He stands as one of today's finest poets and one that serves as an example to others (including the `big names') of how the art of poetry should be approached.

Read the full review at manchestersalon.org.uk
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
John Siddique's poetry is raw, visceral and sexy. Unlike many contemporary UK poets, who use irony and allusion to get their point across, he wears his heart on his sleeve. Siddique invites us not to turn away, but to bear witness, to get angry - at war, hypocrisy, cruelty. His poem sequence 'The Knife' uses extraordinary imagery to take us into his own past, into the world of a mixed-race teenager in Rochdale, where NF youths terrorised and controlled the streets; 'their fire is wet as napalm on the lips.' This collection takes us from Rochdale to India, from Mytholmroyd, Blackpool and Filey to Afghanistan. And the love poetry is joyfully frank and unfettered, a celebration of the body and the spirit.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Beautiful, Erotic and Powerful piece of work 15 Feb 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Some are claiming that poetry is dead. I could not disagree more. John Siddique's Full Blood brings the reader back to the present. Provocative yet accessible at the same time, you will find yourself devouring every poem, as you would a fine meal. Although erotic in much of its context, it's focus in on love and respect [a perfect example is `Love and The Body'] As if holding a mirror in front of you, and confronting the reader with their deepest humanity, that which usually remains hidden. This is a powerful read, and not for the faint hearted, but it is an important piece of work. One that must find itself at the heart of anyone that loves the written word.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An astonishingly direct and moving voice 19 July 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Yes, these poems are erotic and shocking by turns. They are also some of the most deeply human I have ever read. From the start of life: 'They put me to one side as they stitched her,/ those first moments; I belonged to myself./ I knew who I was right then...' to what might be the last: 'I am small and dirty in my skin,/ expecting a fist to my head', to what actually is the last: 'John Brackpool./ Lee Scott... // Feda Mohammed. Abdullah Kahn' - the dead of Iraq. John Siddique clearly takes his own advice On Becoming a Writer: 'Learn to sit and be invisible... // Be plain on the outside. Inside / your mouth is a diamond; never / speak of it before you set its ways in ink.' Many writers write about writing, but how many write too about becoming a moth?

Many of these are love poems, and the range of them is wonderful. They are often uncomfortable. The epigraph to the book is by Frederick Seidel and reads: 'Write beautifully what people don't want to hear.' John Siddique has done just this.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All that needs saying 29 Jun 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Full Blood is an anthology of poetry, previously published in an assortment of magazines, poetry journals & shared anthologies (Granta, The Guardian, Poetry Review, & The Rialto), before being collated in this work. The subject matter is as wide and as varied as life can be in our times and is encapsulated by the poem above, which even when it wants to discuss one subject it can't help bringing in others. So the poetry runs through subjects such as the War (Afghanistan), Childhood, Racism, sex etc.

In the official bumf for this collection it states that, "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 fully in the moment".

All of which makes sense and is a fitting description of this book, this is muscular erotic poetry, the writing is beautiful as only someone who loves language - whatever it's shape, whether fey or concrete, whether spiritual or something more bloodied, visceral can write. John Siddique has said that he regards his true countries of birth to be Literature & Language, this I can believe, but it isn't what I want to say. What I want to say is that sometimes all those wonderful descriptions, all that verbosity etc., although by its very nature is wonderful, just gets in the way and all that really needs saying is...

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