Thursday, 21 July 2016

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





HURRAH! HURRAH! GRAND OPENING!


Roll up! Roll up! 

Buy books directly from the author
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!


OPEN ALL HOURS!



GIGS, FESTIVALS AND PARTIES

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
















Thursday, 7 July 2016

Poem / 'I Know A Lot Of Dead People Now' now on youtube



New today: 

'I Know A Lot Of Dead People Now' from Salena Godden's solo Soho show. 
Filmed at Salon Noire, June 2016, L'Escargot, Soho, London.
10 minute clip from a 90 minute show, this is work in progress. 

This was a super special night, we sold out of tickets and ran out of seats. If you missed out but want to come and see me, we'll be doing another Salon Noire Soho show soon!

youtube link: 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQ80Q-ItGSA&feature=youtu.be



GIGS, FESTIVALS AND PARTIES:

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  

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

August 4th: William Morris Gallery, London


August 18th: Neu Reekie, Edinburgh International Book Festival


September 2-4th: Churchtown, Cornwall

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






All these books available at:



Friday, 1 July 2016

poem / Somme 100





Siegfried Sassoon




Somme 100


How many poor soldiers died at the Somme?
How many were immigrants? Where were they from?
And how many soldiers have died since then?
One hundred years of war and men

Never learning, we vote, and listen to
Plump politicians like magicians who
Will empty your coffers and fill your news
With causes to fill soldiers shoes

We're tired of bombs and pomp and glory
War is futile and war is gory
Westminster cunts in suits and ties
Killing people and telling lies

Siegfried Sassoon haunts me here
We must fight for love and fight the fear
He wishes we'd make some peace and good
And unity in our neighbourhood

How many poor poets died at the Somme?
How many were immigrants? Where were they from?
And how many soldiers have died since then?
One hundred years of war and men.

One hundred years of men, and war, again.




(c) Salena Godden. July 1st 2016



rare image of a black "Tommy" from WW1



GIGS, FESTIVALS AND PARTIES:

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  

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

August 4th: William Morris Gallery, London


August 18th: Neu Reekie, Edinburgh International Book Festival


September 2-4th: Churchtown, Cornwall

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










Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Poem / Titanic





Titanic

I used to love the film Titanic
The last 45 minutes or so
After the sex scene in the car
When the sea water starts to flow

The sinking ship
All slopping and swaying
The band how they
Bravely keep on playing

A man dressing up
As a girly waif
To hide in a boat
And get himself safe

The human catastrophe
The chaos, panic and drama
I used to love that film,
Titanic, the melodrama

But now it just looks
Like the Channel 4 news
People grabbing for life jackets
No coats and no shoes

Now I'm just reminded
Of the plight of refugees
All the immigrants 
Drowning in the open seas

People hungry and cold
In overcrowded boats
Crying for help
With salt burned throats

There's a Syrian Leo
And Kate the Kurd
I used to like Titanic
But now it seems absurd

And My love will go on
Is such a terrible song
I used to like Titanic
But no, never, Celine Dion.



(c) Salena Godden / 2016










Hello, how are you?

Thank you to all who made it to L'Escargot last Wednesday. My special Soho solo show was a sell out. I performed for almost two hours, reading work in progress, new poems, new excerpts from my new projects and then old festival favourites. Thank you to The Bundy Brothers for supporting and warming up the room. Thank you to Stephen Colegrave for talking me into doing such a thing. The room was packed and the cocktails flowed. I read this poem TITANIC and it went down well (haha! splash!) and so I thought I would share it here on my blog today.

Tomorrow we all must use our VOTE. 
We must speak up for unity and equality and make a stand. I feel that in these times of uncertainty that anything that promotes building walls and borders and making people more separate and alienated is unhealthy. Now more than ever we are stronger together, united, so I will be voting for us to stay IN the EU.   

Last night Nikesh Shukla started the hashtag #proudtobeachildofanimmigrant trending on twitter. I am a child of immigrants and I am proud of that. I am proud of our mixed and colourful country. Go on twitter and read the #proudtobeachildofanimmigrant tweets, they are so positive among all the racist bitterness and fear mongering rhetoric around the EU debate.

I'm going to Amsterdam tomorrow to perform at Bimhuis for Spoken Beat Night, a night of poetry and jazz improvisation and I will be spending my birthday weekend in Holland. Earlier this month I was in Berlin working on the 'Cahier Africain' documentary, a feature film documentary about war crimes in Central Africa Republic, produced by award winning German director Heidi Specogna. The film will be released later this year, here is the vimeo trailer: https://vimeo.com/130997211  

Truth is, I fear that if we left the EU, working in other European cities and moving and performing freely will become a thing of the past. Doing poetry, gigs and writing jobs in Europe will be a massive ball-ache of paperwork and bureaucracy, so there's another fine reason I think we should REMAIN. 

In other news, this month, my short story 'Blue Cornflowers' was shortlisted for the #B4ME 4thEstate and Guardian prize, the winner will be announced on the 27th June. It will be wonderful to have this story published, the content and theme of this work is important to me,  you'll have to wait until the 27th to read it, but it is brilliant to see it included on this shortlist. Thank you! 

I have loads of gorgeous events and festivals coming up this summer. Please scroll down for the list, I hope to see you in a field sitting on a hay bale sharing some cider with me sometime and soon, 

Keep Fighting The Good Fight

With love, Salena xx 



     






gigs, parties, festivals, coming up...



June 23rd: Spoken Beat Night, Bimhuis, Amsterdam

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

July 9th: The Roundhouse, Camden, London



July 23rd: Festival 23  

August 4th: William Morris Gallery, London


August 18th: Neu Reekie, Edinburgh International Book Festival


September 2-4th: Churchtown, Cornwall

October tbc: Cheltenham Literary Festival

October 12-15: Durham Literary Festival

October 19th: Manchester Literary Festival










BRAKES Premiered at the Edinburgh Film Festival Friday June 17th

Trailer: https://vimeo.com/164458037




NewBookNews, Summer 2016
Three exciting and diverse new anthologies!













Wednesday, 25 May 2016

April showers, May flies and jumping June...


This month my spirit animal is Helen McCory as Polly Shelby in Peaky Blinders

Hello! How are you all?

And how is your springtime madness?

Looking back this past few weeks have been quite helter-skelter, a tricky ride of highs and lows, and not much calm inbetween. A beautiful flow of creativity punctuated by trains and travelling and gigs, funerals and heartbreak, losing heroes and finding heroes and crying every time I hear Purple Rain. My world is a packed suitcase, I am having to sit on it to make sure I can close it and keep it safe.

Recently I was up in Edinburgh performing at the legendary Rally & Broad. I'm sad to hear that this regular event will be no more now. It was always such a delight to be invited to go and read for Jenny and Rachel. I hear there are some exciting brand new projects brewing and so I wish them superstars both the best of luck with everything in the shiny future. 


I recorded that special Rally & Broad gig and it is on my Soundcloud. It was the day after Prince died. I wore my old 1980's Prince T-shirt, it was a very powerful night, something in the air, we united under a cherry moon, the blossom snowing in April, you can hear that gig hereThe theme for this Rally & Broad event was 'WE COULD BE HEROES'


Talking of heroes... 
Sharmila Chauhan has edited and published 'The Morning Papers' an astonishing selection of #Prince tributes, read them here, at Media Diversified.

"In April, Music lost a singer and musician, but we writers also lost a poet. Whether it was his characters, or his line by line precision and intimacy; Prince was every bit the alchemist of words as well as music. In this space writers were invited to talk about the artist, in whatever context they desired. Curated by Sharmila Chauhan. Featuring work by: Leone Ross, Rosamond S. King, Gemma Weekes, Nikesh Shukla, Salena Godden, Sunil Chauhan, Rajeev Balasubramanyan and Tanuja Desai Hidier. The collection is being hosted by MediaDiversified"



And then we said goodbye to Jock.
I was honoured to be invited to be a pallbearer at the funeral for my friend and poetry hero Jock Scot. I still find it hard to  believe I won't see him again. It was an amazing send off, loads of beautiful friends were there. I won't go into one here, to be honest, I still cannot really find the words. I'll just say that it was an honour, particularly as a woman, to be asked to carry his coffin alongside comrades Davy Henderson and Baxter Dury. And as I type this I recall the feel of that morning - it was a bright grey day and it was cold. I can feel the weight of the coffin in my hands and on my shoulder and the weight in my heart. I told myself it was like putting a friend to bed, to rest. Such a legend! Viva Jock! Jock Scot! Forever! 



The day before Jock's funeral, when I was in Edinburgh, we went and visited the grave of my great-great grandfather, General James Robertson, he is buried at Greyfriars. You will find the dome shaped Robertson Mausoleum there, that's the site of all of my Scottish great-greats on my Jamaican side. If you have my memoir Springfield Road I talk about this rogue Scottish character on page 242. 

Funny thing. After Jocks funeral I got talking with Jocks nephew and his great-greats are also buried there, exactly there, in Greyfriars, the same graveyard... Now what are the chances of that? I raise a glass to these spirits. That we were there before, that we are here and now and that I have no doubt we will be there, in the future too. Time is a mirror. Time is an illusion. Time and space and the invisible gold threads that connect us all, like roots of a tree but we only see the branches.



I'm pleased as punch to see my poem MY TITS ARE MORE FEMINST THAN YOUR TITS in print. A rant poem written for stage and for boozy festival crowds is now in a book and on the page. This amuses me. A huge thank you to Edinburgh's Neu Reekieand Polygon Books. It is a cracking read from cover to cover. I have been carrying my copy everywhere I go and reading it and re-reading it, so many great poets in there, Luke Wright, Jackie Kay, Caroline Bird, Liz Lochhead, Ross Sutherland and many, many more... If you don't have a copy of this anthology I suggest you get yours here




Earlier in this month of May, we went to the Calais Jungle. We took a van load of supplies and helped out in the Refugee Community Kitchen. We peeled sacks of potatoes and were side by side with so many wonderful and generous people volunteering there.  The people at the RCK kitchen are real super heroes. It is immense the work they are doing there. If you are thinking of Volunteering now is a good time, all the info is at refugeecommunitykitchen.com 



www.refugeecommunitykitchen.com




Away from the camaraderie of the kitchens and down in the Calais Jungle I saw a glimpse of the futility of war. It was a Mad Max film set, a dystopian fiction in real time. But there I also saw the best of people, the humanity, the resourcefulness and generosity of others. The good in people. Truth is there are more good people than bad people in this world and we mustn't give up hope or lose the faith. It is escalating, this humanitarian crisis isn't going to go away. This past few weeks there has been a sharp increase in the numbers of refugees, they urgently need our help, please send donations and share this info on all your social media, thank you!


www.refugeecommunitykitchen.com



War is .. 







Brakes will premier at Edinburgh Film Festival next month on June 17th. This is a dark indie comedy written and directed by Mercedes Grower and starring Noel Fielding, Julian Barratt, Julia Davis and Roland Gift and many others, I play a part in this film too! Woo hoo!

Here is the link to the preview in The Skinny 


Trailer: https://vimeo.com/164458037




On June 15th, I will be performing some work in progress in Soho's salubrious L'Escargot. The tickets have been selling fast. Thank you so much to all early birds. I think there might be a handful left, if you are very lucky, so please go to the link HERE and book yourself a space and be the first to hear some of my new things... I'm very excited about this special one-off solo gig. 

Thank you to all in Liverpool at the awesome Wow Festival. It was brilliant fun performing alongside Tim Wells for Stand Up and Spit! 

Tomorrow, Thursday May 26th, I'm up in Manchester at Bang Said The Gun at the Dancehouse Theatre. I think it its gonna go off with a BANG! Also in June you will find me at Stoke Newington Literary Festival and then Amsterdam's Spoken Beat Night. Please scroll down for all gig listings and info, I am contributing to some amazing book events and festivals this summer...




And truth be told... When I am not doing all of the above, all that reading and gigging and poetry business, I am either in the garden talking lovingly to my tomatoes or curled up on the sofa engrossed in the sexy, smoky, whisky soaked world of Peaky Blinders! I love it! Helen McCory! What a broad! Thank you for reading this far down the page! Scroll down for this summers hot dates! See you out and about! Keep fighting the good fight,
sgxx 



gigs, parties, festivals, coming up...


May 26th: Bang Said The Gun, The Dancehouse Theatre, Manchester


June 15th: An Evening With Salena Godden L'Escargot, Soho

June 23rd: Spoken Beat Night, Bimhuis, Amsterdam

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

July 9th: The Roundhouse, Camden, London



July 23rd: Festival 23  

August 4th: William Morris Gallery, London


August 18th: Neu Reekie, Edinburgh International Book Festival


September 2-4th: Churchtown, Cornwall

October tbc: Cheltenham Literary Festival

October 12-15: Durham Literary Festival

October 19th: Manchester Literary Festival












NewBookNews, Summer 2016
Three exciting and diverse new anthologies!

'My Tits Are More Feminist Than Your Tits' by Salena Godden 
'Untitled Two' anthology published by Polygon Books and Neu Reeki


'The Camden Blood Thieves' by Salena Godden 
 'An Unreliable Guide to London' anthology  
Published with Influx Press, launched July 18th 2016 


'Shade' by Salena Godden 
'The Good Immigrant' anthology  
Edited by Nikesh Shukla, published by Unbound Books 





'Fishing In The Aftermath poems 1994-2014'  published by Burning Eye Books



'Springfield Road'  literary childhood memoir published by Unbound Books