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 Copyright©Yogesh Patel & all respective copyright holders of the material published

Publishers for the Diaspora writers and poets Skylark Publications UK A Non-Profit Foundation

 Recipients of our Poet-of-the-Month Honour  

Siddhartha Bose

Sex and the City


An Extraordinary  Achievement of Excellence as a Poet

Siddhartha Bose is a writer, theatre-maker, and performer based in London.

Siddhartha’s books include the acclaimed Kalagora and Digital Monsoon (Penned in the Margins, 2010/13). His poetry has appeared internationally in various publications including Fulcrum (USA), The Literary Review (USA), Voice Recognition: 21 Poets for the 21st Century (Bloodaxe, 2009) Dear World and Everyone in It: New Poetry in the UK(Bloodaxe, 2012), The HarperCollins Book of English Poetry (HarperCollins, India, 2012). Siddhartha has been featured on BBC 4 (TV), BBC Radio 3 and was dubbed one of the ‘ten rising stars of British poetry’ by The Times. He has read and performed at festivals and venues like Latitude, Alchemy, the British Council Showcase (2012), Berlin Poetry Hearings, Turku Poetry Week (Finland), New York University, Oxford University, Royal Festival Hall, and Ronnie Scott’s. A selected readings and performance history is available here.

Siddhartha’s theatre work includes a one-man play, also called Kalagora, which had an acclaimed run at Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2011, London’s Perverted Children, long-listed for an Oxford Samuel Beckett Theatre Trust Award, and The Shroud.

Siddhartha has written a book on the grotesque, Back and Forth (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2015), which is based on his PhD. He has co-edited a special issue of the literary journal Wasafiri (Routledge, UK/ USA) on international urban writing. He was a Leverhulme Fellow in Drama at Queen Mary, University of London (2011-13). A selected awards and grants history is available here.

Siddhartha’s ethnographic film on Bombay, Animal City, is an official selection in the competition category at short film festivals in Goa and Pune, India. He also plays with street photography in his spare time.

Siddhartha is an Associate Artist at Penned in the Margins and teaches creative writing at London Metropolitan University.


Siddhartha Bose

Patrons: Lord Parekh & Lord Dholakia

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Editor’s Comment

Word Masala Award

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Digital Monsoon

A Scottish Poetry Library Recommendation 2013

One of Sudeep Sen’s ‘11 books of poetry to read’ in 2015

‘Poems with the sprung dazzle of jazz. Siddhartha Bose makes it new.’

Jeet Thayil, author of Narcopolis (shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize)


‘This new poetry collection plunges into the scuzzy, frothy, beautiful underbelly of London. Forget odes upon Westminster Bridge, Siddhartha Bose is all about Hackney Wick, getting under its skin and the people who live there (including himself) … It’s multi-ethnic, perfectly diverse London, with the second half upping the ante into the future with cyborgs and dystopia and general Bladerunner nightmares. But what we most love about this collection is how the imagery explodes dirtily in your mind. You may never look at cities the same way again.’



‘Prophetic, brave and experimental [...] Monsoon seems to lift, quite literally, like water from the page’

Bare Fiction

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Publishers: Penned in the Margins

96pp, RRP: £8.99

ISBN 978-0-9565467-4-6

‘Kalagora’ comprises of two independent works: a book of poetry developed over the course of eight years and a one-man play that was written and developed since autumn 2010.

“One of the most exciting first collections I’ve come across in a long time … Kalagora bestrides continents and celebrates cities as engines of creativity where dogs talk in hieroglyphs and where a man can be a moth.”

Ian McMillan, The Verb on BBC Radio 3 (Download MP3)

I work across disciplines (poetry, theatre, film etc.) and I'm currently mostly writing prose. I don't believe in false divisions between 'page poetry' and 'performance poetry', for example. I do believe in the written word. Each word that one writes must be earned. Destroy cliche. Destroy all national, linguistic, class and caste borders. Read, travel, intoxicate yourself with life and all it has to offer, be lucky enough to pull yourself back from the brink. Then, write.

-Siddhartha Bose

Poet’s Statement

She brings me striped shirts coz her father wore them, my love in the afternoon. Blue and white stripe Calcutta—enter her parlour shocked with revolving wooden chandelier darting spots of light, dust in light.

She maps me in her web, spinning limbs.

 —Give give, I’ll do, she groans in that salt tone, as she grips me in skin that bubbles in sores. Some like galaxies sweat pus, not stars. Room is wet with rain that never comes. The floor heaves under us, instinctive as nitrate.

 A Tom Waits razor growl chops me up.

 I lie on her single bed the clay of hash in my hair. Black and wet like Kali, she plays the piston.

 I am stung on a rack, flayed.

 We go to a play by a temple, and as the blackyellow cab turns to Ballygunge by the kebab shop with men wrapped in loincloth, passing the day watching smoke gather on tram tracks, we see two stray dogs doing what is natural with an insistence that frightens, as we hike up our reserve in a giddy laughter.

 Not in London— dogs fucking, fleas on backs, stone as my pocket of alley in the east end, which is home more or less than home. Sometimes, on a late Saturday when the gods crawl outta their holes, I see a man taking the piss by a bin, and the smell, not the trickle—a branch of veins—reminds me of where I’m from, and I glow like a lantern, holy.

Poem published with poet's permission ©Sidhhartha Bose

From Kalagora (Penned in the Margins, UK, 2010), also published in The HarperCollins Book of English Poetry (HarperCollins, 2013, India)

I met Sid Bose first at a poetry reading that our award-winning poet Shanta Acharya had organized at Lauderdale House. I was wowed by this very quiet, withdrawn man who could fool you into thinking him a cold individual, observing and dissecting you into shreds with his observant intent glance. Actually, he is quite the opposite. The moment he starts reading his work, the room fills with his commanding and authoritative poet's voice. One realizes that his observations of  everything around him translate into vivid and lively subjects. Just beware, for you may end up one day in his poems! The language and imagery he employs are nothing less than a celebration of the best poetry that one occasionally encounters; it has vigour and pure energy. Sid employs all the authority and technical skills of a playwright and theatre maker as he calls himself. His is not just 'performance poetry' - he doesn't want to dissociate his poetry from its existence on the page too. His ubiquitous poems are equally engaging in print. Sid’s poems are usually long, so as an editor I have failed to draw out a short poem from him. I assume that he also sees poems as theatre, a unique perspective from which one can enter poetry. This leaves me with a question: Can brief excerpts truly represent the poet's best work? To quote lines of verse is one thing, but to have excerpts represent a poet's long poem is something else. So it leaves me defeated. In the digital world, everything is sharp and short like a coffee on the run. But with Sid, you have to give yourself to the world of his poems and run with the images jumping out to you as at a shooting range. Let us hope I have not entirely failed you, the readers, and Sid.

I stand in awe when I look at his intriguing poetry in action. The insightful perceptions and visual imagery with lights and colour at play is pure theatre. I invite you to join me in applauding a poet of exceptional calibre in the South-Asian diaspora.