Monday, 20 October 2014


The Book Club Boutique Burning Eye Party
Remember, Remember the 5th of November

From 7pm 'til late / £5 on the door
Salena Godden's Book Club Boutique returns with a new residency at Sophie Parkin's fabulous Vout-O-Reenee's, Whitechapel. We launch this new series with a bonfire night gathering of Books, Booze and Boogie-Woogie. Featuring firecracker guest readings from some of the super stars of the brilliant Burning Eye Books stable. Hosted by Salena Godden and Michelle Madsen we'll be hearing from the man himself Clive Birnie and a myriad of wonderful writers and poets including Joelle Taylor, Daniel Cockrill, A F HarroldDan Simpson, Mab Jones, Robert Auton and Alice Furse! With music from The Book Club Boutique DJ Kevin Richards and special surprises and more...

Penny For The Guy competition - Dress as a GUY and win a goody bag!
Dress code: Guido Fawkes / Renegades and Rebels 
Please wear your buckles, boots and beards, see pic below...

Links and dates for the diary: 

October 24th: Rant Against The Rich  - Mascara Bar, Stamford Hill

October 28th: The Big Green Bookshop, London 

November 5th: The Book Club Boutique / Bonfire night Burning Eye Party
November 22/23rd: Cosmic Trigger with Daisy Campbell, Liverpool 

BBC R4's  'Loose Ends' feat. Salena Godden is available Here

BBC R3 'The Verb' Viv Albertine, Hollie McNish, Salena Godden on Mixcloud

BBC Scotland in conversation with Janice Forsyth in the 'Culture Studio' Here

BBC R4 'The Lost Legacy of Little Miss Cornshucks' itunes podcast here 

 Sabotage Reviews   'Fishing In The Aftermath poems 1994-2014 '

'Salena Godden is a Powerhouse." Read more here

SPRINGFIELD ROAD: A Memoir by Salena Godden 

(Unbound, 258pp; £8.99)

In his absence, first in life then in his death, Paul Godden became whatever his daughter Salena wanted him to be: so she made her Irish father from pieces of other men: poets Richard Brautigan and Laurie Lee, actors Oliver Reed and Dirk Bogarde, jazz musician Chet Baker. Anything but ordinary.  But this remembrance by poet and performance artist Salena Godden is also about reality: the daily, domestic heroism of her beautiful Jamaican mother, the competitive but comforting company of her older brother Gus, the scents of Lifebuoy soap, Earl Grey tea, mothballs and kippers in the house of her Godden grandparents in Springfield Road in Hastings in the 1970s, Such times and places, “now in the faraway”, are evoked through family letters and diaries, snatched conversations, the pains and pleasures of adolescence, the discovery of how to love. Her writing is urgent and detailed, colourful and clamorous. Like all love stories, her memoir is intense and intimate.

Iain Finlayson / The Times

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

'Springfield Road' book launch party, gigs and radio in pictures...

Last Wednesday Vout-O-Reenee’s hosted the London booklaunchparty for Springfield Road to thank the hundred’s of people who pledged and supported this ‪#‎crowdfunded‬ book. Wow! Thank you!  Thank you to Maggie Gee and Rachael Kerr who gave epic speeches and made us all craugh. We sold lotsandlots of books and danced and drank and well you can see the evidence below, here's a scrapbook from the SPRINGFIELD ROAD booklaunchparty! 

This week I was on Loose Ends for BBC Radio 4 with Clive Anderson, David Morrissey, Andy Hamilton, Benjamin Zephaniah, Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott, and Arthur Smith. I read from Springfield Road. Find it on your iplayer:

"@ArfurSmith I spent the afternoon with my mother taking it in turns to read aloud from your book. It is enchanting"

I had a wonderful time in Wales last weekend where I was reading from Springfield Road at The Laugharne Weekend / The Dylan Weekends. There was much Dylan Thomas spirit and japes. I was honoured to meet and interview the wonderful Francesca Martinez. I love Wales, beautiful people and lush landscapes and skies. Below I've included a few pics of Laugharne, Dylan Thomas's writing shed, his pants and his final resting place. Beautiful! Next stop Bookslam then the Reading Comedy Festival, please scroll down to see pics and links and more and thank you for subscribing to 'Waiting For Godden' xxsg

October 11th: NTS Radio with Angry Sam

November 5th: The Book Club Boutique / Bonfire night Burning Eye party

November 22/23rd: Cosmic Trigger with Daisy Campbell, Liverpool

Maggie Gee and Rachael Kerr

Maggie Gee and Rachael Kerr

Maggie Gee

Maggie, Rosa, Rachael and Salena Godden

Maggie, Rosa, Rachael and Salena Godden

Isabel Adomakoh-Young, Salena Godden, Bishi Bhattacharya and MissLouisa Young 

Gus Godden and Salena Godden

Gus Godden and Salena Godden

 Jon More (Coldcut) and Salena Godden

Bishi Bhattacharya and Christine Lockhart

Christine Lockhart, Salena Godden and Samantha Love

Debbie Kilbride, Gus Godden and Springfield Road

Sabrina Mahfouz & Salena Godden

Glen Duncan, Rowan Pelling and Salena Godden

Salena Godden and Tim Wells

MissLouisa Young, Salena Godden, Rachael Kerr and Isabel Adomakoh-Young

Recording 'Loose Ends' BBC Radio 4  at BBC Radio Theatre.

 Benjamin Zephaniah, Springfield Road and Salena Godden at BBC Radio Theatre.

 Benjamin Zephaniah, Springfield Road, Salena Godden and ARTHUR SMITH at BBC Radio Theatre.
Recording 'Loose Ends' BBC Radio 4 — with Clive Anderson at BBC Radio Theatre.
ARTHUR SMITH and Springfield Road at BBC Radio Theatre

Paul Heaton, Jacqui Abbott and The Beautiful South at BBC Radio Theatre

David Morrissey at BBC Radio Theatre

Dylan Thomas's writing shed

The brilliant Niall Griffiths reading at Laugharne

Interviewing Francesca Martinez at Laugharne

Dylan Thomas pants, Laugharne

Beautiful Wales

'Somewhere In This City' was published in The Morning Star

"We haven’t met but I can picture you 
and a huge stack of unopened envelopes…" 

‘Somewhere In This City’ is the opening poem in the 'Fishing In The Aftermath'  collection by Salena Godden published in July 2014 by Burning Eye Books,  
Well Versed is edited by Jody Porter. Thanks Jody!

'Fishing In The Aftermath' Sabotage Reviews

“‘Fishing in the Aftermath, Poems 1994-2014’ is a non-linear labyrinth exposing the vulnerability of a girl-turned-poet at the turn of the century, both in modern-day England and in post-9/11 New York City. It’s a melodic and unguarded coming-of-age story filled with moments of anger, sadness, friendship, loneliness, and red-hot passion. To say that Godden’s work is a reflection of a youth well spent in search of a higher meaning as an artist is an understatement — Her commitment to her work is refreshing in its honesty, and her decision to divulge the difficulties of the writers’ life rather than gild it in beautiful words as some do is immensely satisfying.”

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

'Springfield Road' Launch Party October 1st 2014

Dear pledgers and followers and friends,

This past week, as the books arrived, I have been bowled over by your reactions, beautiful messages and pictures. Thank you. I made a tumblr of some of the photos I have been sent here  - Please send yours, I love them!

By now you should all have your invites to tomorrows massive booklaunchparty!
Its tomorrow, Wednesday October 1st, 6.30pm 'til midnight at Vout-O-Reenees!
Guest list is filling up fast, please RSVP to

I'm delighted to announce that the wonderful Maggie Gee will be speaking and introducing the book alongside me. Maggie has championed this book since I sent her the final draft of 'Springfield Road' and it is a huge honour she'll be there.

There is a loose theme for the party 'Come As You Were 1972-1984'  - just interpret this as you please! Unbound's lovely Caitlin texted that she might come as a 'twinkle in her dads eye' - Maybe I will be there on rollar skates, with an afro, national health glasses, playing kiss chase with you all...haha! The fabulous Book Club Boutique DJ's will be there, playing ska, reggae and smash hits from the seventies and eighties.

Radio gigs and dates:

My music doc 'Little Miss Cornshucks' is on BBC World Service, BBC iplayer here!
Oct 2nd - Hastings fundraiser celebrating  Robert Tressell
Oct 3rd - BBC Radio Theatre  / live studio audience for Radio 4's 'Loose Ends'

Oct 5th - BBC LDN / Dotun Adebayo Show / 9pm 
Oct 8th - Bookslam, Clapham Grand, check out the website, tickets and line up here

There's lots of good stuff going on throughout Autumn, gigs, radio, parties and drinkys...

All details here at

WOW! THANK YOU! We did it!

I thank each and everyone of you, for your faith, for every kindness and for all your help!


With much love and many thanks,

Salena Godden

press details:

Publication date September 30th 2014

Original Paperback £8.99 ISBN 978-1-78352-055-8
Available in all good bookshops

Hardback ISBN 978-1-78352-054-1
E-book ISBN 978-1-78352—56-5
Available from

‘Honest, grippingly readable, funny and uplifting’ Maggie Gee, OBE

As long ago as 2006, it was suggested to Salena Godden that she should write a memoir. The details of Salena’s life – a mixed-race child brought up in England in the seventies and eighties, whose Irish jazz-musician father leaves home when she is three and kills himself when she is nine, her Jamaican mother’s second marriage to a violent stepfather – had all the potential for the making of a ‘misery memoir’, the kind that were riding high in the bestseller lists at the time.

But Salena Godden is incapable of that kind of misery.  Joy and humour and love and tenderness just kept breaking through, and what resulted was Springfield Road – one of the most life-enhancing memoirs you will ever read.  Make no mistake, Salena does not shy away from the painful and the difficult episodes of her life, but she just can’t help herself also celebrating the ridiculous, the beautiful, the thousands of tiny unremembered acts of kindness and of love that are at once both personal and universal.

Salena Godden has been described as ‘the doyenne of the spoken word scene’ (Ian McMillan); ‘the Mae West madam of the Salon’ (The Sunday Times) and ‘everything the Daily Mail is terrified of’ (Kerrang! Magazine). She is known as The General of the Book Club Boutique, Soho’s louchest literary salon.

Earlier this summer Salena published Fishing In The Aftermath / Poems 1994-2014, marking twenty years of poetry and performance (Burning Eye Books). Her illustrious career as a spoken word performer is legendary. In Springfield Road there is a glimpse of what drove her to become the brilliantly, exuberantly self-made artist that she is.

As well as her writing and performing, Salena currently works with award-winning radio producer Rebecca Maxted. 'Try A Little Tenderness – The Lost Legacy of Little Miss Cornshucks' was aired on BBC Radio 4 in May to great acclaim. In June, she read an extract from Springfield Road and contributed a poem to the much-lauded documentary ‘The History of the N-Word’ broadcast on BBC Radio 4.  Salena has been appearing at festivals throughout the summer including Latitude, Port Eliot, The Green Gathering, Wilderness, Festival No.6 and the ‘Dylan Weekend’ at Laugharne 26-28th September.

Press statement written by Rachael Kerr at Unbound.
For further information and press queries please email:    
Check out Salena’s website: 'Waiting For Godden' - 

PS: This morning I woke up to this, it is very beautiful, thank you Oliva Spleen
"I am currently immersed in Salena Godden’s newly published memoir Springfield Road. Though I am not by birth a girl or a person of Jamaican / Irish descent; she retells her memories with such clarity that, when I have a nap after reading a chapter; in my dreams I am her and I wake confused that her story is not mine as it seems even more vivid and real than my own youthful reflections and memories." Read more: