Tuesday, 12 May 2015

'Princess Leslie' & 'Voodoo' live on Youtube...

 
'Voodoo' excerpt from Springfield Road

'Princess Leslie' excerpt from Springfield Road


Hello all! I had a glorious time in Liverpool this weekend at the Writing On The Wall Festival. Thank YOU to all who made it out, such a warm and friendly crowd. Here's two 5min film clips I found on my phone, I'm reading from Springfield Road: Princess Leslie and also Voodoo. The other day I joined Instagram and you'll find pics and stuff on my page there too now. 

It is gonna be such a lovely busy summertime. This week I'm performing for For Books Sake on Wednesday and also at The British Library on Friday with two events: Talking Liberties with Tim Wells and also Tongue Fu with Saul Williams. Lots and lots and lots of amazing gigs and festivals coming up! Please scroll down and click on the highlights to find an event near you! See you all there! xx  



May 13: For Books Sake, Erotica Book Launch Party, London

May 15: Talking Liberties, The British Library, London

May 15:  Late at the library: Tongue Fu with Saul Williams, British Library

May 26: How The Light Gets In, Hay-On-Wye

May 30: Poetry Reincarnation, The Roundhouse, London




June 2: Word, Y Theatre, Leicester

June 5-7: Stoke Newington Literary Fest

June 17: Inside, L'escargot, Soho

June 18: London Short Story Festival

June 19-21: Salon, Also Festival, Warwickshire

July 11: Unbound Books, Cornbury Festival, Oxford

July 18-19: Lovebox, London

July 22: Jawdance, Apples and Snakes, Rich Mix, London

July 31: Ways With Weirds, Port Eliot Festival

August 14-16: Green Gathering, Wales

August 21: Edinburgh International Book Festival 

September 4-6: Festival No.6, Portmerion, Wales

October: US tour, road trip, bluegrass festivals, book fairs...


UNDER THE PIER / NASTY LITTLE PRESS
 
FISHING IN THE AFTERMATH  / BURNING EYE BOOKS



SPRINGFIELD ROAD / UNBOUND BOOKS



Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Colour-blind: What colour are you?



  
What colour are you? Are you black or white? Are you green, blue, red, yellow or purple? What colour are you? I am black. I am white. I am brown. I have a soulful Jamaican heritage and I live in England. There is London beneath my feet but I have a tropical heart full of a mix of otherness. I was made from love and the blood of a white man and black woman. My black ancestors stood up to fight against the oppression of my white ancestors. My white ancestors trampled all over my black ancestors to build this country. What colour were your elders and your ancestors, what colour are your ghosts? What colour are you? What box do you tick? I would like to tick the box for truth, for hope, for change. I would like to tick the box for freedom and equality.

People are not cockroaches. We are all immigrants. We have to pull together now or we won’t have any planet left to bicker about. Walls and borders and labels and boxes are created to separate us, but whether we like it or not, we remain connected as human beings. We have other senses, we feel and feed each others hopes and fears. We have to feed the hope. Hope is the question and hope is the answer. They want you to think it is all hopeless, it is only hopeless if you give up, if we give up.  The point is hope. 

My friend Oli tells me I am not half caste but double caste. I’m hoping this means I have double helpings of understanding, a double egg yolk of experience and knowledge stored in my DNA and manifesting itself in the choices I make now and here. I don't feel half anything, I feel whole.  

I grew up to love otherness, to appreciate the contents of this world paint box. I have to love all sides. I have no side. I am outside and inside and I am both sides. From this viewpoint all I can see is that there is no such thing as sides, there is just this present. We are fragile, here we are, living on a blue and green mud-marble, spinning through space and time, we grab onto the here and now, capture it and broadcast it. We are the media, we film and document our lives, we share our stories and news, we are the filter, there has never been more documentation of human behaviour. We feed our hopes and fears. We have to stop feeding the fear and ignorance.  We have a choice. You are the point and the point is hope.

My love is colour blind. He cannot see a sunset. He cannot see the magenta and tangerine evening sky, to him a sunset is variations of grey and charcoal clouds. We are all tasting flavour, hearing music and seeing tone and variations of hue only from our own unique perspectives. We use lazy names, boxes and labels to make gangs like children in the playground. We split the teams, we fragment groups and this breaks the line of defense. Imagine if we all stood together and stepped into the sun light to see the bigger picture, it could be magnificent. There is only one thing that matters, and that is peace, equality, humanity and fairness. This is what I hope for. I’ll do anything to contribute to that. I’ll do anything to make sure we don’t go down in history as the generation who lost hope, like a marble down a drain.

All over the world we are failing humanity and equality on so many levels. We fail to educate and we fail to listen. For example, illiteracy threatens over 785 million adults worldwide, that translates into one in every five people on the planet, with either no or just basic reading skills. And two-thirds of that illiterate population is women. Even I can determine that that is a deafening silence of women that globally have no say, women that cannot read or write, that cannot vote or speak out. How can anything be fair if only a percentage of the world population can read and write? And with that in mind, what is a democracy if only a percentage are voting? Here at home, only approx. 65% of UK citizens voted in the last election, so what are the non-voters thinking? We don’t know unless they speak up. Nine million women didn’t vote in the last UK election. I'm not telling you what to vote or who to vote for, that is your choice and your right, I'm just asking you to use your vote. 

Personally I feel that the powers that be have been systematically attacking the weak, the poor, the elderly and the disabled whilst lining their own pockets. I think it is our duty to fight to save the NHS. The poor get poorer and the rich get richer, same old, same old. It is a fact that the war mongers never rest, the fascists, the racists and bigots never take a day off - and then nor should the people who want change and equality and diversity and fair play. I am voting because I still have hope, as idealistic as it sounds, I believe my voice counts. They want you to think it is pointless, that is the point. This government rely on apathy.  Feed the hope and not the fear. Hope is free, so pass it on.



14 December 1918: women vote in a UK election for the first time. Illustration by F Matania 



 Tonight, May 7th, I'm speaking at Chill Pill, Albany Theatre, London.
This weekend I'm reading in Liverpool at the WOW Festival 2015.
Please scroll down or click here to find a gig near you
Thanks you for subscribing to Waiting For Godden










Wednesday, 22 April 2015

round up: reviews and gigs and radio and parties and festivals coming up....





a handy round up and spring clean

'Springfield Road' reviews...

Naomi Frisby: The Writes Of A Woman 
"What’s most compelling about Springfield Road is the warmth and love Godden infuses it with."

Iain Finlayson: The Times 
"Her writing is urgent and detailed, colourful and clamorous. Like all love stories, her memoir is intense and intimate." 

Debjani Hawkes: 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…”

 Amy Crofts: Opus Independents / Now Then Magazine 
"One aspect of the book that I feel worked really well was the juxtaposition of chapters written from adult Salena’s perspective, bringing the reader out of the past and into the modern day, and hearing her thoughts on the process of writing the very pages we have been reading. The beauty of her writing makes it easy to forget that we are not reading a novel, but someone’s true life story and hearing her struggles about getting it down on paper somehow mange to round the whole thing out, and give it a satisfying dimension." 

Polly Trope: Indie Berlin 
“The tale is rich with reflections on memory and tradition, presence and absence, relatives and the past… I don’t know why, but I sometimes felt like I was prying on Salena, but it’s a book, a published book, and I was offered it.”

Sophie Parkin: 3am Magazine 
"Springfield Road wasn’t really about Hastings, it’s not just about a place or time, it’s about feeling. It’s about tracing a lost love and finding out about a man she never knew; her father and growing up with a very slim replacement in the North of England. It could be a misery memoir, with the easy racism of the 70’s, the brutality of adults and the thoughtlessness of children, but the innocent joy that is picked out because of the way Salena sees the world makes the prose full of poetry and beautifully turned phrases. Salena can write you into a child’s heart and out of the mouth of a teenager’s inquisitive nature." 

Lee Bullman: Loud and Quiet Magazine 
"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."

press and publishing...

Interview with Alan Bett in The Skinny

Interview with author Paul McVeigh
 
Interview with author Vanessa Gebbie

Excerpt 'First Kiss' published in Ape Magazine

Poetry: 'Billie' published in The Pool

Erotic Short Story 'Dirty Pigeons' published by The Pigeonhole


radio highlights... 
  
In conversation with Neil Denny / Little Atoms

All Things Considered with Arun Rath / NPR

Culture Studio with Janice Forsyth / BBC Scotland

Loose Ends with Clive Anderson and Arthur Smith / BBC Radio 4 

Poetry: 'Here's a poem about space' / BBC World Service

More archives, BBC radio,  interviews: www.mixcloud.com/salenagodden 





spring-summer 2015 
gigs, parties and festivals

April 23: The Pool launch party, London

April 26: Changing Britain, The Southbank

April 28: Inside, L'escargot Soho, London

May 2: Blah's Big Weekend, The Bristol Old Vic

May 7: Chill Pill, The Albany, London

May 9: Writing On The Wall Festival, Liverpool

May 13: For Books Sake, Erotica Book Launch Party, London

May 15: Talking Liberties, The British Library, London

May 15:  Late at the library: Tongue Fu with Saul Williams, British Library

May 26: How The Light Gets In, Hay-On-Wye

May 30: Poetry Reincarnation, The Roundhouse, London

June 2: Word, Y Theatre, Leicester

June 5-7: Stoke Newington Literary Fest

June 18: London Short Story Festival

June 19-21: Salon, Also Festival, Warwickshire

July 11: Unbound Books, Cornbury Festival, Oxford

July 18-19: Lovebox, London

July 22: Jawdance, Apples and Snakes, Rich Mix, London

July 31: Ways With Weirds, Port Eliot Festival

August 14-16: Green Gathering, Wales

August 21: Edinburgh International Book Festival 

September 4-6: Festival No.6, Portmerion, Wales

October: US tour, road trip, bluegrass festivals, book fairs...





UNDER THE PIER PUBLISHED BY NASTY LITTLE PRESS


FISHING IN THE AFTERMATH PUBLISHED BY BURNING EYE

SPRINGFIELD ROAD PUBLISHED BY UNBOUND BOOKS





*this blog was created whilst listening to the late great Janis Joplin