Thursday, 25 July 2019

LIVEwire at Byline Festival 2019


Byline Festival 2019

LIVEwire returns to Byline Festival in Sussex for the third year running. Co-curated by Byline Festival Poet Laureate Salena Godden and Nymphs and Thugs owner Matt Abbott, the LIVEwire Salon is a proven hit at the festival. This year we have a dozen of our finest renegade and rebel poets performing for you over the weekend, August 23-25 2019!

Byline is a unique and dynamic festival which celebrates independent journalism and freedom of speech, whilst also targeting corruption and bias in the media, as well as prejudice in wider society. This year’s festival sees Pussy Riot return for another headline set, as well as a huge range of talks, workshops, screenings, performances, music and more. 

Click here for more info and tickets!

12 LIVEwire poets 
Byline Festival 2019

Logan & Manley bring some pure mischief and sunshine from the creative northern town of Hebden Bridge, Logan & Manley are full of irie beats, soulful vibes and lyrics that have a message for us all. Live, they loop a sonic landscape of dynamic vocals, keys, guitars and electric drums creating a space for everyone to get lost in the magic of their music. Expect to feel the love from the tips of your toes to the top of your head. 

Connor Byrne is a poet and performer from Brighton, now living in London. Their work explores gender and the relationships we have with others and the world. They have performed nationally and internationally, at festivals, competed in slams and self published two pamphlets.

Sunnah Khan is a Scottish Pakistani poet living in London, Sunnah writes poems of belonging and displacement. When she’s not producing documentaries, she’s either standing on her head or performing with her poetry collective 4 BROWN GIRLS WHO WRITE.

Oakley - A writer and performer originally from the West Midlands, they’ve received playwright development from Birmingham REP and gained a place on Royal Court’s playwrights programme. Oakley has performed nationwide, has been published by #Queer in the US and has a forthcoming collection ‘The Rainbow as a Bleeding Sky’ on Verve.

Sheena PatelA London-based poet, and part of the exciting and much spoken about collective 4 BROWN GIRLS WHO WRITESheena’s writing is a surrealist interweaving of sex and myth, and she can be a little bit rude sometimes.

Repeat Beat Poet - A broadcaster and hip hop poet, PJ fuses traditional poetics with hip hop culture to capture and extend moments of time, thought, and feeling. He produces and hosts monthly poetry events Boomerang and Pen-Ting and his radio show #TheRepeatBeatBroadcast, and is a house emcee with hip hop label Imaginary Millions.

Oli Spleen In 2018 as a tribute to his recently deceased father, Oli recorded his second solo album ‘Gaslight Illuminations’. It was also inspired by the emotional fallout of a toxic relationship. It’s been described as “a gloriously dark and haunting work” and “a mesmerising work from an artist who has embraced his maturity”.

Maria Ferguson A multi award-winning theatre maker from Essex, Maria is also a highly acclaimed poet. Her début one-woman show ‘Fat Girls Don’t Dance’ won Best Spoken Word Show at the 2017 Saboteur Awards, and follow-up ‘Essex Girl’ won Show Of The Week at VAULT 2019. It tours from September to November.

Joelle TaylorAn award-winning poet, playwright, author and editor who has recently completed a world tour with her latest collection ‘Songs My Enemy Taught Me’. Joelle is widely anthologised, the author of 3 full poetry collections and 3 plays and is currently completing her début book of short stories ‘The Night Alphabet’.

Michelle Fisher A writer and performer from Glasgow, Michelle was a resident artist at Roundhouse from 2017-18 and has been commissioned by the likes of BBC and Huffington Post. Her work explores wider societal issues, including class and poverty, and how they impact on our daily lives. She’ll host our Friday show.

Matt AbbottA poet, educator and activist from Wakefield, Matt formed spoken word label Nymphs & Thugs in 2015 and fronts alternative act Skint & Demoralised. His ‘Two Little Ducks’ show explores the working-class Leave vote and the refugee crisis.

Salena Godden - One of the UK’s foremost poets, Salena is also Byline Festival’s Poet Laureate. After gracing global stages for 25 years, her rebellious LIVEwire spirit is unparalleled. Her ‘Pessimism Is For Lightweights’ was published by Rough Trade Books and took UK poetry by storm last summer. The title poem is currently on display at the Arnolfini Gallery in Bristol. The self-produced N&T ‘LIVEwire’ album was shortlisted for the Ted Hughes Award.

The new series of LIVEwire events has been announced today! Please check it all out hereThis is the biggest series of N&T events yet - 4 regional LIVEwire events, 4 resident nights at Hyde Park Book Club in Leeds and a return to Byline Festival for a 3rd year running! Read all about it here


August 3rd - CHEPSTOW Green Gathering

August 17 - EDINBURGH Book Festival 

August 23-25 - SUSSEX Byline Festival

August 31 - HASTINGS Hastings Lit Fest

September 13-15 - WALES Good Life Experience



love poems books art music 
festivals vinyl poetry stories
CD's zines gigs radio posters t-shirts 
 spoken word pamphlets love

Monday, 1 July 2019

NEW BBC RADIO | Salena Godden on BBC Radio 4 Extra 'Telling Tales' broadcast July 9th 2019

For those of you that like my BBC radio pieces - I’m reading poetry and talking about courage and resistance on Telling Tales on BBC 4 Extra next Tuesday. We take a look back at the last 25 years of my career and adventures so far and chat about my latest projects. 

The show will feature clips from my BBC radio play ‘A Valentine at Waterloo’ and also the 2018 BBC documentary about my debut novel and work in progress Mrs Death Misses Death. It’s an hour show and will be aired on #BBCRadio4Extra #TellingTales broadcast July 9th, 11am + 12pm. I really enjoyed making this special radio programme, hope you like it too... 


NEW! No.6 in the 'Pessimism is for Lightweights' series from Byline Festival's own Poet Laureate Salena Godden for the Byline Times - This week a look at the aspirations of young poets in schools and a look at the language of toxic masculinity used in the race to win ITV's Love Island and the race to win No.10. 

This column is available online and also available in print. Subscribe. Order copies today. This is a new independent news source which separates fact from comment and tries to cover stories other media outlets ignore, Byline Times relies on your subscriptions. I will be there writing mostly about poetry and books and art and culture and reasons to be hopeful. 


What is Masculinity? Why does it matter? And other BIG questions 

A highly topical look at the subject of masculinity. Edited and curated by Darren Chetty and Jeffrey Boakye. Aimed at 8-13 year olds. With contributions from Dr Andy Williams, Salena Godden, Breanainn Lambkin, Iesha Small, Dave Pickering and Dr Fen Coles of Letterbox Library

This important and timely book looks at the big questions surrounding definitions of masculinity, and discusses where ideas of masculinity have come from and the effects of gender stereotyping. Published by Hachette Childrens group and out now! 


August 3rd - CHEPSTOW Green Gathering

August 17 - EDINBURGH Book Festival 

August 23-25 - SUSSEX Byline Festival

August 31 - HASTINGS Hastings Lit Fest

September 13-15 - WALES Good Life Experience

love poems books art music 
festivals vinyl poetry stories
CD's zines gigs radio posters t-shirts 
 spoken word pamphlets love

Amazing time performing at The Roundhouse,
Last Word Festival, Thank you xx



This book is in aid of

"A highly emotional collection. A piece to get you thinking, empathising and understanding what it means to be ‘other’." Thank you for this thoughtful review of  -

Receive a free Unbound anthology 'mixtape' when you preorder Others.
Just email to claim.
Preorder your copy here:

See you all in a field somewhere soon!!

Wednesday, 12 June 2019

Jumping Jupiter! Two amazing new anthologies on the way this midsummers...


What is Masculinity? Why does it matter? And other BIG questions 

A highly topical look at the subject of masculinity, encouraging readers to think for themselves about the issues involved. Edited and curated by Darren Chetty and Jeffrey Boakye. Masculinity is being discussed more than ever before, in a range of contexts. People talk about 'toxic masculinity', claim that there is a crisis in masculinity or argue that we need to 'reclaim masculinity'. There have always been many ways of being a man, and many people who have claimed that there are correct and incorrect ways of being a man. This important and timely book looks at the big questions surrounding definitions of masculinity, and discusses where ideas of masculinity have come from and the effects of gender stereotyping. Published by Hachette Childrens group, launched June 2019.


A beautiful book that celebrates how words can take us out of the selves we inhabit and show us the world as others see it. Fiction writers and poets will make us look out through other pairs of eyes; essayists will probe the mental blocks that can make it hard to see the realities beyond the media bubbles. The contributors will do nothing they don’t already do – make the homely strange and the exotic familiar – but they’ll do it with an unflinching eye on today’s social inequalities and the thirst for political change. Others has been successfully crowdfunded with Unbound and ALL net profits of this book are going to anti-hate and refugee charities. It is a spectacular line up that includes Damian Barr, Noam Chomsky, Rishi Dastidar, Salena Godden, Colin Grant, Matt Haig, AL Kennedy, Kamila Shamsie and many other-others, edited by writer and psychologist, Charles Fernyhough, launched July 2019. 

This book is in aid of &

Summer 2019

June 22 - LONDON - HUH - Last Word, The Roundhouse

July 18-22 - CORNWALL - Churchtown

August 2-4 - CHEPSTOW - Green Gathering

August 17 - EDINBURGH International Book Festival 

August 23-25 - SUSSEX - Byline Festival

August 31 - HASTINGS - Hastings Lit Fest

September 13-15 - WALES - Good Life Festival

NEW regular column for Byline Times
Read all about it:

love poems books art music 
festivals vinyl poetry stories
CD's zines gigs radio posters t-shirts 
 spoken word pamphlets love

Thank you for scrolling to the bottom of the page
See you here and see you there 
Keep fighting the good fight
You brilliant and bold and brave rebels 
With love, grief and fury, Xxsg