Jo and I are very excited and honored to have John Siddique as a featured poet in the next issue of ouroboros. We will have two of his poems, an interview, and a review of his new book, Recital, which has just been released by Salt Publishing. Siddique is currently in California as a writer in residence at Cal State, and is launching his new collection at an evening reading.
Also, John Siddique is hosting this month’s poetry workshop at the Guardian. He offers a few examples of poems related to the night, and talks about his own connection to the moon and the night sky, one of the recurring images from his new book.
Since his collection is with Salt, I thought I should mention that this UK-based publishing company is going through some choppy economic waters. Jen Hamilton-Emery says in her open letter to the Salt Fan Club on facebook:
As many of you will know, Chris and I have been struggling to keep Salt moving since June last year when the economic downturn began to affect our press. Our three year funding ends this year: we’ve £4,000 due from Arts Council England in a final payment, but cannot apply through Grants for the Arts for further funding for Salt’s operations. Spring sales were down nearly 80% on the previous year, and despite April’s much improved trading, the past twelve months has left us with a budget deficit of over £55,000. It’s proving to be a very big hole and we’re having to take some drastic measures to save our business.
They are asking readers to buy just one book in an effort to keep Salt from going under. Maybe John Siddique’s Recital will intrigue you. There are also many US poets and short story writers to choose from. For example, Cherryl Floyd-Miller’s book, Exquisite Heats, is a Salt publication.
I went to the US writers and chose a book with a hairy T-Rex or an impossibly huge meerkat on the cover, called The Bible of Lost Pets, by Jamey Dunham, a collection of surreal prose poems. Yay! I can’t wait to read it. I’m a sucker for surreal prose poems and ambiguous animals on book covers. I’ve also got a soft place in my heart for independent book publishers. We who love the arts have to support creative ventures. Otherwise we’re left with what they sell at Wal-Mart and Target.