Second life for book from poet with northern soul

John Siddique
John Siddique
Have your say

Back in 2007 poet John Siddique wrote a book called Poems From A Northern Soul.

The book didn’t exactly sink without a trace, but nor did it set the world on fire.

Then last year, something odd happened. People started buying the book. And that’s not all. They appeared to be buying the book – and in not insignificant quantities, in one specific city.

“I had a call from my publisher to say that the Waterstones store in Bradford was suddenly selling loads of copies of the book,” says Siddique.

Although it was unexpected, it wasn’t actually entirely out of the blue that his book started selling again.

Siddique, who now lives in Hebden Bridge, has previously been the poet in residence at Ilkley Literature Festival. The reason Bradford seemed the be an epicentre for the renaissance of interest in Poems From A Northern Soul, was because Siddique had featured in an exhibition at the National Media Museum of the UK’s 21 most influential people of South Asian origin.

“I guess people had seen me in the exhibition and then gone to the Waterstones branch in the city to find my work,” he says. “It’s strange because the book is several years old. We tend to live in a society that looks for instant gratification – and that includes authors and publishers, so there’s a big push when your book is first published, but then you forget about it and move on to the next thing.

“It’s great to know the book is having this further life. As a writer you put your work out and then you relinquish control of it, then it’s left to the readers to discover.”

John Siddique is at Bradford Waterstones, Oct 6, 11.30am to talk about Poems From A Northern Soul.