Friday, 7 October 2016

NEW poem: You're A Citizen Of Nowhere


You're A Citizen Of Nowhere

We did not vote for Mrs May
This harsh and xenophobic way

Black ice eyes, jaw clenched tight
Flying flags for the far right

All 'them' and 'us' and 'there' and 'here'
Here is May: Hate, spite and fear

Cruel winds do shake the darling fists of May
No tolerance or kindness on display

If you're a citizen of the world, you're a citizen of nowhere
Citizen of don't care, citizen of no welfare

Socrates spits on Number Ten
Drowned babies on Greek shores again

And there is May with her fat share
All 'us' and 'them' and 'here' and 'there'

Today it was decreed across the land
We make a list of names of foreign hand

Name and shame each foreigner in our midst
Just a bit like... Schindlers List

Separate rich and poor, black and white
Shaking hands with the far right

It's 'them' and 'us' and 'there' and 'here'
And words like 'foreign' loud and clear

Socrates spits at number ten
We are ALL citizens of the world. Amen

And citizens of the world we'll remain
We're star dust, salt and sand grain

We did not vote for Mrs May
They slipped her in to save their day

So disappointing that she chooses
The side of fear that always loses

Black ice eyes, her heart stone grey
We did not vote for Mrs May

We did not vote for Mrs May
We did not vote for you, Mrs May

(c) Salena Godden 
national poetry day 2016

Yesterday I was invited to perform at National Poetry Day Live at The Southbank Centre. The artist  and illustrator Chris Riddell drew these amazing pieces live on screen whilst I performed my poems.  Chris Riddell is brilliant, he is the Children's Laureate and award winning political cartoonist for the Observer, look at more of his work here: 

I read three poems: TITANIC and DIE WASP and a this new piece written especially for the day YOU'RE A CITIZEN OF NOWHERE in response to PM Theresa May saying 'If you're a citizen of the world, you're a citizen of nowhere' in her speech this week. A line so sinister, threatening and dark, it rings in my head even now typing this. 

As my friend the brilliant poet Jo Bell has said on her Facebook, now is  the time to MAKE SOME NOISE. Now is not the time to say I'm alright jack and sit pretty and say nothing. It is time to speak up and make some noise, this poem is me making some noise!! 

Gorgeous live performances of both DIE WASP and TITANIC are featured on my new album LIVEwire which is released TODAY with Nymphs and Thugs, available on CD, vinyl and digital download here: 

This weekend I'm performing at Cheltenham Lit Festival. I will have 50 limited editions of LIVEwire there, please come and find me at the bar to get your signed copy and to help me celebrate!  

TITANIC a poem about the humanitarian crisis we are all facing is on the BBC i-player this month as part of a new poetry season on BBC. 'We Belong Here' on your telly here:


Salena's Bookshoppe

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

'LIVEwire' my poetry album pre-order goes live and reviews and news from 'The Good Immigrant'


TODAY! You can now pre-order Salena Godden's hotly-anticipated 'LIVEwire' album on CD or download from Nymphs & Thugs Bandcamp site: Official release date October 7th! 

The album is a compilation of live and studio recordings, archives and brand new work. It features live material from the 2014 books, her literary childhood memoir 'Springfield Road' (Unbound) and 'Fishing in The Aftermath - Poems 1994-2014' (Burning Eye). 

N&T founder Matt Abbott commented, 'This is exactly the kind of album that I set out to release when I formed the label, and it's a real honour work with Salena. The hairs on my neck are still standing from the first time I saw her live - this album will blow your socks off from start to finish!'

Salena commented, ''LIVEwire' is a mix of raucous live performances, but also tender and quieter pieces that sometimes get hidden. I produced this work like a vinyl LP: the Daytrip A-side, the first half is for your headphone moments, then I invite you to turn it up and pour yourself a rum for a Dirty B-side.'

It's live and wired, it's LIVE and ALIVE, its LIVEwire.

Click here Nymphs and Thugs for more details!!


ct 26th OutSpoken Sabrina Mahfouz Book Launch

Nov 23rd Cadogan Hall with Hollie McNish 

Nov 30th Unity Words, Wakefield

Thank you for your valuable support for 
'The Good Immigrant'

WOW! It's been a phenomenal couple of weeks. 

The book was launched on September 22nd, it was such a wonderful, beautiful and joyous party. I have never seen so much good will for one book. There was so much love in the room. This month The Good Immigrant has been trending on twitter, we are currently number one in the Guardian bestsellers, and climbing up The Sunday Times Bestseller list. Collectively we have been on BBC and regional radio and BBC One Breakfast too. The Good Immigrant will be book of the week on BBC Radio 4 next month. There are events and happenings throughout the autumn and winter, at various festivals and up and down the UK, please follow editor and champion Nikesh Shukla for details and news as it comes in. If you already read it, please tweet us and help us to keep spreading the word! Hashtag #thegoodimmigrant 

Further reading, links and reviews:

The Good Immigrant Book Launch - 15 of the of 21 contributors! 

 Nikesh, Salena, Rachael and John

Excerpt from 'Shade' from 'The Good immigrant'

Salena's Bookshoppe

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Dates for your diary: September / October 2016

Nov 30th Unity Words, Wakefield

Salena’s Bookshoppe:

Salena Godden: Author of literary childhood memoir Springfield Road which was successfully crowd funded and published with Unbound in 2014 and author of Fishing In The Aftermath: Poems 1994- 2014 published with Burning Eye Books, marking twenty years of poetry and performance. New short fiction Blue Cornflowers was shortlisted for the 4th Estate and Guardian short story prize in June 2016. Shade is the title of Godden's contribution to The Good Immigrant which was crowd funded in record time and will be published by Unbound on September 22nd 2016. 

Salena Godden is one of Britain's foremost poets and a regular performer at literary festivals nationally and internationally. She's appeared as guest and writer for BBC radio programmes such as The Verb, Saturday Live, Loose Ends, Fact To Fiction and as poet in residence on BBC World Service programme Click. Salena has written and presented several arts documentaries, these include Seaside On The Rocks for Channel 4, Stir it up - 50 Years Writing Jamaica and Try A little Tenderness - The Lost Legacy of Little Miss Cornshucks both for BBC Radio 4. Widely recognised as a trailblazer for fellow performers, Salena Godden is a true renaissance woman, her stage presence is distinctive, her performances are electrifying, intensely powerful and full of laughter and warmth.

2016 Books:

Poem My Tits Are More Feminist Than Your Tits published in the Untitled Two anthology edited by Neu Reekie. London fiction The Camden Blood Thieves was published in The Unreliable Guide to London with Influx Press Commissioned essay Shade by Salena Godden is included in The Good Immigrant edited by Nikesh Shukla, published by Unbound. And various poems are published in the Word Life 10th anniversary anthology, published and launched 30th September 2016.

Cahier Africain is a feature film documentary produced by award winning Swiss director Heidi Specogna with English narration by Salena Godden. The Cahier Africain World Premiere was at Locarno Film Festival August 2016 where the film was awarded the Premio Zonta Club Locarno award which is given to the film which promotes a better justice and social ethics by the Jury of the Semaine de la critique, Locarno. Film trailer:   

In other film news this year, Salena Godden played a small part in Brakes which premiered at Edinburgh Film Festival 2016. Brakes is an Independent UK debut comedy directed and written by Mercedes Grower and it stars Noel Fielding and Julian Barratt and many familiar faces of British comedy. Film trailer:

Waiting For Godden:

BBC archives, poems & songs:

Monday, 15 August 2016

Performance: 'Can't Be Bovvered' live at Festival 23

Can’t Be Bovvered

Of course it’s difficult! That’s the whole point, tell me something I don’t know, if it was easy everybody would do it, you CAN’T, that is the point of hard and difficult things. They are hard and difficult. What is the point of doing something easy? What is easy? Is it easy being a CAN’T? Or a bank robber or a pilot or a heroin addict or a lion tamer or a millionaire? Is it easy to be honest? Is it easy to be first? Anything worth doing is hard and worth doing really hard and for hours and every day until you have it down and you have done it the best you CAN otherwise it’s pointless doing it, you CAN’T. Even being a total CAN’T takes hard work, hours of dedication and you should know that, you CAN’T. Every day you are shown evidence against being a CAN’T but every day you persist in being a total CAN’T, you lie there in your hot little bed planning what you CAN’T do or CAN’T say, planning where you can't go...

If CAN’T's like you had your own way no books, songs or paintings would ever be completed because it might be a wee bit of work. Hello my name is Jimi Hend… dunt matta… Hello my name is Ludwig van Bee… bovvered. May as well stay in bed picking your nose and wiping it off on the sheets because it dunt matta wotevaaa, CAN’T be bovvered, CAN’T be bovvvered… I had a dream… yeah woteva. Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art… CAN’T be bovvered. If it was left up to you churches would be left half built and Neil Armstrong would be still on the moon waiting for a ride home and people would die in the middle of CAN’T be bovvered brain surgery and Jesus Christ would be left hanging there from one hand because it was a bit hard and it took a bit of energy to get the nail in through the palm of the other one, might as well leave it, just leave the son of God dangling by one arm, you CAN’T, now look the son of God just snapped at the ankles, headbutted his old dear and bloodied her nose because you, you sloppy CAN’T, you didn’t even hammer that one in properly, you have a break, go on, dunt matta, dunk your Kit Kat.

CAN’T be bovvered going to galleries or reading books, dunt matta, you want pizza and lots of telly, you shit what you are fed… telly about telly, footage of fat ugly people bickering and scoffing pizza, you are watching yourself on telly, you CAN’T. How much imagination must it take to convince yourself that anything difficult, anything that takes a bit of thought or work must be avoided and ignored until someone on telly tells you it’s kinda like pizza and maybe worth checking out? Once upon a time when you were a baby CAN’T it was very hard, very difficult to learn to stand and then to walk and even a CAN’T like you managed that… then it was hard and difficult to learn to speak CAN’T, and you speak CAN’T fluently, like it must be your first language. Then it was very hard, very difficult to learn to read and to write, to build ideas, to understand theories, histories and create things, and that’s where CAN’T’s like you stop whilst the rest of the world evolves and involves in spite of itself… in spite of you, you CAN’T. Outside it’s filthy with life, with new ideas and a curiosity of how the world works and spins with the weight of thinking, questioning, the perfection of gifts and talents and finding fantastic ways to communicate dreams and visions, it’s called seeing things through, you CAN’T, it’s called being awake you CAN'T and its called being alive, you CAN’T.

Paint a church ceiling? Paint a church ceiling, you sure? Oooooh, that will be very very hard, very very difficult, I wouldn’t bovver if I was you, wotevaaa, your name is, ermmm, Michelangelo… woteva, Sistine Chapel… dunt matta… woteva… CAN can can can can can can can can can can can… you CAN’T.


(c) Salena Godden

'Can't Be Bovvered' by Salena Godden


Live performance for The Cosmic Trigger Cabaret at Festival 23

Filmed with thanks to Adam Baker - July 23rd 2016

Published in 'Fishing In The Aftermath Poems 1994-2014' by Burning Eye Books

Please visit our new online store, Salena’s Bookshoppe:


August 25th:  Verse Clique, The Poetry Club, Glasgow

August 26th: Neu Reekie, Edinburgh International Book Festival

September 2-4th: Churchtown, Cornwall

September 16th: The Beacon, Hastings

September 30th: Wordlife launch, Rich Mix, London

October 7th: Cheltenham Literary Festival

October 12-15: Durham Literary Festival

October 19th: Manchester Literary Festival

October 21st: ArchWay With Words Festival supporting Suzi Quatro

Thursday, 21 July 2016

NEW TODAY: Salena's Bookshoppe & Summer 2016 gigs, parties and festivals


Roll up! Roll up! 

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Please pop by to see what we have in store
We've got signed books and first editions and more…
All sent directly from us to your door!



June 29th: Soapbox Poetry, The John Peel Centre, Stowmarket

July 9th: 'Stand Up And Spit' The Roundhouse, Camden, London

July 15th: BookSlam with PJ Harvey and Tracy Thorn

July 23rd: Festival 23  

July 28th: Sophie Cameron's 'Red Raw' Resistance Gallery, London

August 1st: 'The Good Immigrant' at The Roundhouse, Camden

August 4th: William Morris Gallery, London

August19th: Greenwich Festival 

August 25th: The Poetry Club, Glasgow

August 26th: Neu Reekie, Edinburgh International Book Festival

September 2-4th: Churchtown, Cornwall

September 16th: The Beacon, Hastings

September 30th: Wordlife launch, Rich Mix, London

October 7th: Cheltenham Literary Festival

October 12-15: Durham Literary Festival

October 19th: Manchester Literary Festival

October 21st: ArchWay With Words Festival supporting Suzi Quatro