Tuesday, 25 November 2014

The Cosmic Trigger Play by Daisy Eris Campbell

"The Cosmic Trigger Play is the back story to Illuminatus! Featuring the extraordinary life and times of its co-author, Robert Anton Wilson, the unstoppable force that was Ken Campbell, and some key scenes from 1976 stage production of Illuminatus! It is a fresh new script by Daisy Eris Campbell (Ken’s daughter) based on Wilson’s book Cosmic Trigger."

Wow! I have just woken up from a beautiful dream and am returning from a trip to the opening of The Cosmic Trigger Play which premiered this weekend in Liverpool. There was love in the room. My hours were jam packed with music and laughter and chaos and more laughter and fantastic dancing and conversation and colour and light and coincidences and collisions and joy. The conferestial included talks, cinema, art, performance and ritual, great thinkers, drinkers, authors, poets and comedians, like Robin Ince, Nina Conti, author CJ Stone, Seani Love's tantric sex workshop, Ways With Weirds and more, more, more...

This weekend has blown my tiny mind. The play was heroic. It was full on and glorious with juicy dialogue, epic meaning and messages and fantastic story telling, diving into the  details of the life and times of Robert Anton Wilson and the impact of Illuminatus! and the Cosmic Trigger. Daisy Campbell has made something truly magnificent. Daisy's own daughter Dixie was tremendous too, one to watch! The whole cast rocked the house, they smashed it, as the kids say, and I'm very proud to have been asked to participate and to be there with some of the greatest, weird and wonderful minds of my generation. 

I was invited me to leap out of a golden apple at the command of Eris, the Goddess of chaos and confusion, to perform 'I Want Love'. When I came off stage I was told I had just pulled my Cosmic Trigger. I have pulled something, everything hurts from laughing, my cheeks ache from grinning. I remember break dancing and doing roly-polys across the dance floor... And to top it all Daisy Campbell married Greg Donaldson and so the play-gig-festival-rave became a beautiful and touching wedding, followed by the happiest most joyous wedding party I have ever been to.

Cosmic Trigger Play is a speeding rollar coaster into colour and space, four hours of hallucination and imagination, magick and madness, from Sirius to the Occult, from Robert Anton Wilson to Timothy Leary to William Burroughs and Aleister Crowley and beyond. I massively recommend you find out more at www.cosmictriggerplay.com
Don't miss out and follow the #cosmictrigger hashtag on twitter! 

Get your tickets NOW and find the others - Hail Eris!

Daisy Campbell, Robert Anton Wilson played by Oliver Senton and Salena Godden
Everyone carries a piece of the puzzle. Nobody comes into your life by mere coincidence. Trust your instincts. Do the unexpected. Find the others” – Dr Timothy Leary

Thursday, 13 November 2014

November: Snap, crackle and pop!

We had a wicked and wonderful time last Wednesday at The Book Club Boutique Burning Eye Books Bonfire night party at Vout o Reenees! Thank you to Michelle Madsen for helping me host it and to all who were there. This is a lovely group photo of ten of my favourite poetry comrades and Burning Eye writers and poets, Rob Auton, Alice Furse, Joelle Taylor, Mab Jones, Daniel Cockrill, Dan Simpson, A F Harold, Michelle Madsen, Salena Godden and Clive Birnie the brains behind Burning Eye Books. Check out Burning Eye Books and make sure you are following and reading these ten very excellent poetry game changing super stars. The next Book Club Boutique is on Wednesday December 3rd! Please scroll down for more dates and links. Watch this page and the @bookcboutique tweets for the inside shizzle...

'Springfield Road' is out NOW! I'd like to say a huge heart-exploding THANK YOU for the personal messages I have been finding each day on this electronic beach. Almost every morning I'm waking up to find notes from school and college friends, some from poetry and writer comrades but mostly from strangers, telling me this book is reaching people: That some of you remember how it was, that this book reminded you of your childhood and that reading this you recalled some things you thought you had long forgotten. Some people have been reading it aloud with partners, which is just about as beautiful as it gets. Some of you found comfort in this book because you lost a parent or you missed your dad too. I will never be able to properly express how much these letters mean to me. Nothing has prepared me for people to like this book. Hundreds of you pledged to help get this book into print, but I have been so busy gigging and hustling and fighting my corner, fighting to be heard, I clean forgot how much the actual content of this work might effect people.

But for me the real hard work has only just begun. This past few weeks I haven't been feeling at all like a poet, I have been feeling more like a saleswoman. To jazz things up I pretend I am a sexy secretary. Out walking yesterday I found an Aladdin's cave stationers and my stationary cupboard is packed with new goodies enticing me to keep on, I found smashing coloured inks and beautiful envelopes to post books to potential reviewers. You see I have no choice but to just keep on, keeping on and plugging away. I'm told that it is tough and competitive out there in the book trade and especially this time of year. There is a groundswell of sensational memoirs, ghost-written memoirs, celebrity memoirs, rags-to-riches memoirs, rubber-neck misery memoirs and Christmas joke memoirs to compete with and and and... all this talk makes me work harder a bit like this:

 I just want to say three cheers to the kind book shop keepers who are stocking my books, thanks to the bloggers who are blogging and thanks for the full-house of fantastic 5-star reviews on Amazon. Also thanks to indie bookshops and the support shown from the likes of The Big Green Bookshop in North London and St Leonards Central in Hastings. Thank you all!
One of my favourite London gigs are the good comrades at Bookslam. I was delighted to take part in a sell-out event at The Clapham Grand last month (pictured below). It was a phenomenal line-up of powerful women, raising money and awareness for Womens Aid and hosted by the brilliant comedian Felicity Ward. It was an amazing evening, you can hear the audio  on my mixcloud here

And meanwhile back at HQ...

Unbound launched the #womeninprint campaign.  
Bravo! Here's to more power and more diversity, more colour and flavour and voice. I have to say I don't usually like gangs and cliques and labels and boxes. I have always been happy here, playing the outsider and playing by my own rules - but this isn't about tokenism or girls in the corner of the playground asking to get passed the ball - This is about redressing the balance and it is so important and valid. 

Put quite simply - If we don't have more books by women published we only share half of our heritage. Our literary history and our stories and memories will be predominantly narrated and imagined by the great white male and all the other colourful fish, stories and experiences, remain ignored, silenced and invisible. Please follow #womeninprint on twitter and lets support each other and work together to get more voices heard, more women in print and in the bookshops.

This week, I completed a commission to write an erotic short story for The Pigeonhole as part of their #sexstave series. The Pigeonhole is a great way to access short stories and read great books in weekly instalments. I think my story is launched on December 12th. And needless to say it is very naughty. The Pigeonhole is a brilliant new platform for both readers and writers, please check it out for yourself here

And last but not least...
I've been longlisted for the Transmission Prize. I haven't been on a list or nominated for a prize ever before. It is exciting to be included, have a look here, I'm in such wonderful company. Thank you Salon London

Some of the latest press and reviews:

The Literateur"Throughout, Godden writes about a past that is at once deeply personal yet also belongs to the everyman figure; her descriptions of childhood are simultaneously timeless and yet rooted in a particular period of British history…" Debjani Biswas-Hawkes   read more here

Something Rhymed: We asked authors Maggie Gee and Salena Godden to tell us about their similarities and differences, and the role in their friendship of the written word. read more here

Loud and Quiet Magazine: "Salena Godden follows up her recent poetry anthology with a lyrical and witty memoir painting a portrait of the artist as a young girl. Springfield Road tells the wide-eyed tale of Godden’s childhood as the daughter of a jazz musician and a go-go dancer set against the lovingly rendered backdrop of 1970s Hastings.  Springfield Road’s prose wavers effortlessly throughout, from tender poignancy to raw, gritty realism and this lovely book serves to remind us that however much the world has changed in the last forty years, in many ways it is still exactly the same." Lee Bullman

Write Out Loud: "Salena Godden is an absolute master of – knowing your assumptions, playing to them, and then flipping them completely." Laura Taylor

links and dates for the diary:
November 22/23rd: Cosmic Trigger with Daisy Campbell, Liverpool 

December 3rd: THE BOOK CLUB BOUTIQUE / Vout-O-Reenees

December 9th: The Pigeonhole Launch Party / Zetter Hotel, Clerkenwell

December 10th: Burn After Reading / Seven Dials, Covent Garden  

December 11th: Unbound at Waterstones / central London / details tbc..

December 15th: 451, Apples and Snakes / Nuffield Studio, Southampton

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 

Autumn is gold outside and it is beautiful.
I'm going to the park to paddle in puddles now!
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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