Tuesday, 10 December 2019

blog post: Full moon and the general election #GE2019

Up early for a Sunday morning bike ride.

We ride together through the park, through the last crunch of autumn yellow leaves. We stop for coffee. I pretend to be Anthony Bourdain trying local delicacies as we sit on plastic chairs at a street food stall. We have delicious Brazilian treats, coffee and pastries, cheese bread, quiejo pasteis.

Above us the church bells ring, loud and clanging.

Is it ok to admit I love them and hate them at the same time? I get conflicting feelings at this time of year. The hypocrisy. The divide of rich and poor. The church bells ringing boldly for baby Jesus whilst the homeless shelter in tents and sleeping bags at the church gates. And I look at my phone and read the news, the politicians campaigning and manipulating the media, using the violence and the tragedy of the London Bridge attacker to add petrol to anti-immigration and racism rows. I send condolences to all who lost their lives and their families. Prayers for peace and unity.

This December the general election is a dark shadow that stokes more division.

I'm idealistic but I wish there was more focus on healing and listening and helping each other to save our humanity and save the planet. Because it is starting to feel like it honestly won’t matter who is wearing the crown when this island sinks into the sea. 

I sip coffee and love being here in the 21st century. We live in the future. Right now I could be in any EU city with this lovely coffee and the Brazilian lady who smiles at me. I smile back and write about December, the blue skies and the wintry sun.

Meanwhile across the street I see the usual Christmas plastic crap in all the shop windrows, clutter that will be thrown out in January and washed up on a beach, strangling a turtle or choking a seahorse on the other side of the world. This is the London I know. This is the world we know. It is a chaotic jumble of complex contradictions. But it doesn’t have to be this way - 'this is how it’s always been' - just isn’t good enough anymore.

I take a moment to write about this: this December, this one love, this multicoloured, multicultural, multilayered world, this city and this place we all call home.

We have a full moon for the election. 

This will be the Cold Moon or Long Night Moon. If there were more wombs in the rooms people might have picked up on this and how the moon cycle could effect tide and votes. Wow. It is almost as if men ruled by money decide everything and are oblivious to the rest of the population of planet earth who are in tune with nature and ruled by the moon. Never underestimate the power of Decembers full moon and all those of us that feel a surge this week. 

Bring on the RED wave.

It occurs to me that all over the country millions of people who get their period on the full moon will have raging PMT right here and right now. I wish we could harness that PMT rage and fury, like wind turbines, but rage and fury turbines. Almost everyone I know is in tune with the moon, their monthly cycle is like clockwork, timed with the lunar cycle and the oceans. 

All I am saying is: The billionaire Tories picked a really bad day to test our patience further.

On December 12th as the full moon rises - on the 12th hour of the 12th day on the 12th month - I envision a big red wave for this general election. Metaphorically, spiritually and literally. We must attune to nature and unite and rise like the moon, rise like the tides and sea. 

We must vote the Tories out. 

Please use your power, your voice and your vote to get rid of the people that enforced period poverty for so long. Let's kick out the people that hurt women's rights and women's choices and women's autonomy. Let's kick out the people that continually hurt all marginalised people; the people that ignored the tragedies of Grenfell and Windrush and Yarls Wood. The politicians that  were too scared to meet Greta Thunberg and listen to the valid concerns of the next generation. It makes no sense to vote for the Tories after nine years of the Tories.

Please use this blood and fury; this coming solstice; all your moon juice energy to send power and light to the people with a soul intention to help others and empower the poor, the sick and the vulnerable.

Winter is here. 

It will be a brutal winter for so many because climate change is here; because science is fact; because floods; because austerity is real; because people are dying sleeping rough in doorways; because the use of food banks is at an all-time high and they need our donations; because we can all do better and be better; because we ALL need the NHS and our hospitals and fire stations and libraries now more than ever; because this is IT, this is the turning tide and change is here and time is now.

Happy bloody bleed! 


With Full Moon Love Xx

Repeat after me: 

Full Moon. Cold Moon. Long Night Moon. 
Power to the people who protect the poor and vulnerable from the cold long night. 
May we enter 2020 with less shadow and more kindness and light. 
We are many, we rise with moon and tide and fight for our rights.

Sing this 3 times when you see the moons face this week:

this blood is old, my blood is mine 
I wash my blood in salt moonshine 
Tories crumble with each crumbling truth 
as true as the moon as long in the tooth 
this blood is old as blood as time 
I wash this blood in cold moonshine 
in cold moonshine I wash this time 
and feel love rise in cold moonshine



 3 POEM-FILMS 2019 




Cold outside, this is my favourite hoodie. ORDER yourself one of these toasty hooded tops and donate to @RefugeeCKitchen#RCK 
here refugeecommunitykitchen.com/donatemoney

Monday, 2 December 2019

Roaring 20s Radio | the new radio show for the new decade

Welcome to Roaring 20s Radio: a brand new programme on Soho Radio created to amplify the best of art, culture, books, poetry and activism as we roar into the next decade. Roaring 20s Radio is presented by Salena Godden, Amah-Rose Abrams and Matt Abbott.
Our first episode was broadcast on Soho Radio on Saturday 16 November 2019. Our launch featured special guest Rookes talking about her incredible new EP with a live interview in the studio. Following this first broadcast, we will be on air on Soho Radio once a month.
Ep.1 on Mixcloud here >  Soho Radio 

We enjoyed making programme one and we're delighted to be invited back with a regular slot. In episode one we discussed William Blake, John Higgs, Toria Garbutt, Mark Leckey, Max Porter, Joni Mitchell, Dark Mountain, Lemn Sissay, Tim Wells, Sabrina Mahfouz, Joelle Taylor, JJ Bola and more, more, more... have a listen here

Our monthly residency will celebrate and champion the people that are roaring in the face of adversity. Each episode will feature exciting live studio guests, round-ups from our favourite writers, artists and poets and the Roaring ‘20s quiz. Plus we’ll play some of our favourite tunes and navigate our way through the political turbulence and the headlines that dominate the world and the content of so much of our work.

The Roaring ‘20s quiz involves sharing a series of extraordinary quotes and news items from past and present and discussing and guessing who said it and which decade it was from: proving no matter how far back we go, there’s always been resistance in the shape of formidable literature, powerful art movements and people of courage fighting apathy and inspiring us all to ROAR more! 

Follow Roaring 20s Radio on Twitter and Instagram @Roaring20sradio drop us a line, join the debates and ROAR along using the tag #Roaring20sRadio 

Roaring 20s Radio: a brand new series on Soho Radio created to amplify the best of art, culture, books, poetry and activism as we roar into 20s. Roaring 20s Radio is hosted and produced by:
Salena Godden - one of Britain’s foremost writers and poets. Her latest poetry collection ‘Pessimism Is for Lightweights: 13 Pieces of Courage and Resistance’ was published by Rough Trade Books taking the poetry world by storm. Shortlisted for the Ted Hughes Prize, her latest ‘LIVEwire’ album was released on Nymphs & Thugs. It features two decades of live performances, session tracks and archive material on 2LP gatefold vinyl and CD. Her début novel ‘Mrs Death Misses Death’ will be published by Canongate Books in 2021. Salena will be selecting writers and brilliant books and other highlights from the literary scene.
Amah-Rose Abrams - a writer and has been an arts and culture journalist for the last ten years. She has written for The New York Times, The Art Newspaper, artnet News, ES Magazine, The i and Dazed & Confused. She has also dabbled in creative, writing, music and film. Amah-Rose will be giving us her freshest picks from the art world – home and abroad – and providing discussion on the many issues in the industry today.
Matt Abbott - a poet, educator and founding owner of indie spoken word record label Nymphs & Thugs. His début one-man show ‘Two Little Ducks’ earned rave reviews at Edinburgh Fringe in 2017, followed by a 22-date UK theatre tour last autumn. It also resulted in the publication of his début poetry collection of the same name. His début kids’ poetry collection ‘A Hurricane in my Head’ was published by Bloomsbury this summer. Matt also fronts indie act Skint & Demoralised, whose fourth album ‘We Are Humans’ was released by Fierce Panda on limited edition white vinyl and download this year. Matt will be giving us a round-up of the latest events, releases and content from the spoken word poetry scene.

Ep 2 will be broadcast later this month ...

Follow #Roaring20sRadio for details!

Tuesday, 12 November 2019

Bookseller: Canongate pre-empts Salena Godden's visionary debut novel 'Mrs Death Misses Death'


Huge news to share today... 

My debut novel Mrs Death Misses Death will be published by Canongate Books. 
I'm so excited to share this news with you all today, it is a dream come true!
Thank you Crystal Mahey-Morgan, Hannah Knowles and all at Canongate Books


"Because we know a lot of dead people now..." 

At the heart of the novel lies the friendship between Wolf, a troubled young writer, and Death, whom Godden personifies as a homeless black woman who shape-shifts. The synopsis reads: “Enthralled by her stories, Wolf becomes Mrs Death’s scribe and begins to write her reminiscences and memoirs. Using their desk as a vessel and conduit, Wolf and Death time-travel to witness historic deaths of past and present and discuss what the future holds for humanity.”

“As Godden swoops between literary forms in Mrs Death and Wolf’s interactions, she sparks questions about class, race, gender and mental health,” Canongate said. “And ultimately, while mortality lies at the heart of the novel, Mrs Death Misses Death is a bold, visionary celebration of life, hope and resilience.”

Knowles said: “Getting to publish Salena’s electrifying genre- and form-defying firestarter of a novel is nothing short of a career highlight.”

Canongate c.e.o. Jamie Byng said: “I’ve been a fan of Salena Godden’s writing for many years, coming across her poetry as I did back in the 90s when she would regularly blow audiences away with her wild delivery of her anarchic, soulful, filthy and funny poems. But nothing could quite prepare me for this pulsating, dark and delicious debut novel, Mrs Death Misses Death.”

He added: “Salena’s ability to blend literary forms, weave stories and reclaim myth is dazzling and I am certain that Mrs Death and her amanuensis, Wolf, are going to haunt the imaginations of readers the world over. As well as capture their hearts.  I could not be more excited about us publishing this audacious novel by this utterly original writer.”






Wednesday, 23 October 2019

POEM: 'Is There Anybody Out There? launched on BBC ARTS + GOOGLE ARTS

the back of the internet

Your random internet questions answered… by art 

6 artists try to answer the big and impossible questions

What is love? What does it mean to be British? What if I fall?

I chose the question: Is there anybody out there?

A commission by BBC Arts and Google Arts and Culture goes live online today!

Check out all 6 brilliant films and additional material on BBC Arts and Google

And follow the tag #youaskedartanswered

We were also asked to choose just 6 items from the google archives to answer our question

Hard to choose! I selected David Bowie and bees and great women scientists and more...

This work was broadcast on TV for the first time on BBC Four (29.09.2019)

Poem written and performed by Salena Godden

Film made with thanks to Michelle Tofi and Phil Macdonald

It is a Northern Town production 

Produced with thanks to Edward Morgan  

Make up by Michelle Strain 

I enjoyed this project, hope you do too! 

Thank you! sgxx

BBC: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes

GOOGLE:  https://artsandculture.google.com

the back of the internet

I just went around the back of the internet.
I must have pressed a wrong button
but suddenly this other page came up
It was like being on the other side of a mirror
and being on the other side looking in

I was on the inside of the other side
and you were all there staring into your screens
You had goldfish bowl faces, glowing white and ghostly
illuminated by interwebs and the information mines
which shone like gold in your glittering eyes

I grinned and waved
but you’d never see me here,
not even, if you used your binoculars 

I just went around the back of the internet

I quite liked it 
and I might go back

It was dimly lit by a pale dusty old sun
The air smelled of wires
old tooth fillings and burnt plastic
There were no windows or doors
It was a ghost land, a dried out sea bed
a gritty desert and wasteland

I was outside, on the other side
I found two dead bees 
Not one, but two
And I wondered if the bees were friends
when they were on the other side.

Then I pushed an abandoned 
shopping trolley about for a bit
it had a wonky wheel

I just went around the back of the internet
It was derelict and as out-dated 
as a page of a real newspaper

I took a selfie of me
me on the other side
around the back of the internet

I walked for a bit and kicked a rock down a hole
There were no buttons to push
and there was nothing to like or favourite
It was boring #hashtag boring #hashtag other side
Please retweet

I went around the back of the internet
It was just my feet doing the walking thing
to nowhere and into nothing and for nobody

I was on my own 
with my own head doing thinking
which was a bit like tweeting
but all in my own head box
and on a timeline only I could see
and I couldn’t share it
or change my profile pic
to the selfie of me
me on the other side
and around the back by the bins.

It started to water from the ceiling.
Fat drops fell from a film of sky above,
Well, needless to say, I didn’t like that,
water falling from up there
onto my actual face
hashtag #rain

I just went around the back of the internet
I might go there again
but its alright
I'm back online now

(C) Salena Godden / 2019

around the back of the shoot


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