Tuesday, 7 August 2018

Poem | Sushi (Pessimism is for Lightweights)



    


'Sushi' by Salena Godden, published July 2018, read the rest in 'Pessimism is for Lightweights - 13 pieces of courage and resistance' Rough Trade Books: roughtradebooks.com







coming up, festivals, gigs, gatherings 2018




AUGUST 24-27 | LIVEWIRE | BYLINE FESTIVAL


SEPTEMBER 15-16 | GOOD LIFE EXPERIENCE

SEPTEMBER 19 | ROUGH TRADE | BRISTOL 

SEPTEMBER 20 | BAD BETTY BOOK LAUNCH

SEPTEMBER 22 | KENILWORTH FESTIVAL

OCTOBER 3 | ROUGH TRADE EAST | BRICK LANE, LONDON

OCTOBER 4 | TONGUE FU | ARNOLFINI, BRISTOL








Thursday, 2 August 2018

BYLINE FESTIVAL 2018 | LIVEwire salon poetry line-up




BYLINE Festival  
August 24th-26th 2018

Pippingford Park Manor, Nutley, Uckfield 

LIVEwire Salon on the Backline Stage 

Curated and hosted by Salena Godden and Matt Abbott 

Friday August 24th | 10pm to 12.30am 

Sunday August 26th | 10.30pm to 1am 




"It's a great honour to be the Byline Festival Poet Laureate. Byline bring together the bold and courageous, the truth seekers, the clear voices in the darkest of times and those that stand up and speak out for injustice. The 2018 LIVEwire Salon hopes to reflect this, bringing together a most eclectic and renegade group of poets and some of the UK's most exciting and distinct voices. We have intentionally chosen poets that raise the roof, poets that I feel have something new to say, poets that inspire and challenge us, poets that trouble themselves, and that bother to trouble us in these troubled times. This is the summer of love and courage and resistance!" Salena Godden





BYLINE FESTIVAL 2018  | LIVEwire Poets


Matt Abbott | Poet and activist from Wakefield. His debut show Two Little Ducks received rave reviews at last year’s Edinburgh Fringe and embarks on a 22-date UK theatre tour this autumn, accompanied by a collection on Verve Poetry Press. In spring 2015 he formed the spoken word record label Nymphs & Thugs.
Connor Byrne | Emerging poet from Brighton. Connor has been writing poetry since 2015, exploring gender, relationships and coming of age. He has performed in Brighton and Edinburgh fringes, competed in slams, self-published his first pamphlet, and was once commissioned to put his voice in a shoe.
Sophie Cameron | An extraordinary performance poet. She aims to hold a mirror up to the everyday highs and lows. She runs a regular cabaret night in London called Red Raw.
Maria Ferguson | Writer and performer from Essex. She has been commissioned by Radio 1 and Royal Academy of Art. Her debut show Fat Girls Don’t Dance sold out nationwide as well at Edinburgh Fringe where it was met with critical acclaim. It won the Saboteur Award for Best Spoken Word Show 2017 and is published by Oberon Books. Maria is currently working on her new show Essex Girl.
Michelle Fisher | Writer and performer from Glasgow, currently based in London. She was a finalist in Words First; a national collaborative project between BBC Radio 1xtra and the Roundhouse. She has supported some of the UK's top performers including Kate Tempest, Salena Godden, Hollie McNish, Elvis McGonagall and Luke Wright, and was a Resident Artist at the Roundhouse 2017/18. Her work explores wider societal issues, such as class and poverty, and how these affect our everyday lives. She has been commissioned by institutions such as BBC and Huffington Post, and has performed across the UK, from Aberdeen to Bournemouth.
Salena Godden | Author of poetry collections ‘Under The Pier’ (Nasty Little Press); ‘Fishing in the Aftermath: Poems 1994-2014’ (Burning Eye); literary childhood memoir ‘Springfield Road’ (Unbound) and ‘Shade’ published in the award winning essay anthology ‘The Good Immigrant’ (Unbound). Her live spoken word album ‘LIVEwire' was released with indie spoken word label Nymphs and Thugs and shortlisted for the Ted Hughes Award. Latest work, ’Pessimism Is For Lightweights, 13 pieces of courage and resistance’ was published by Rough Trade Books in July 2018 in the first Rough Trade Editions series. The poem ‘Pessimism is for Lightweights’ is a pubic poetry art piece currently on display outside the Arnolfini Gallery, Bristol.
Michelle Madsen | Poet, theatre maker, activist and investigative journalist. Michelle is a member of Poetry on the Picket Line, BP or Not BP and has appeared on BBC1 and BBC Radio 4, Resonance FM and NTS Radio. She has performed on four continents and is a regular at Glastonbury, Port Eliot and the Edinburgh Festival. She is the host and creator of the world's only poetry panel game, I'm Sorry I Haven't Haiku and writes on fraud and corruption for Private Eye and the Independent.  She also makes and directs campaigning, clowny theatre and is a founding member of spoken word and physical theatre duo BAIT, which will be performing its debut show 'Tales' at festivals including Brighton and Edinburgh in 2018. Her debut collection Alternative Beach Sports is published by Burning Eye.
Selina Nwulu | Yorkshire born writer, poet and essayist based in London. She was Young Poet Laureate for London 2015-6, a prestigious award that recognizes talent and potential in the capital. She has been featured in Vogue, ES Magazine, i-D and Blavity amongst others. Her first chapbook collection, The Secrets I Let Slip was published by Burning Eye Books in September 2015. She writes for the Guardian, New Humanist and Red Pepper. She has toured her work nationally and internationally as well as at a number of festivals including Glastonbury, Edinburgh Fringe, CĂșirt Festival in Galway and Fiery Tongues Festival in Ruigoord, Holland. She returned from a literary tour in India with the British Council in late 2016. She is currently ‘Writer and Creator in Residence’ at the Free Word centre and Wellcome Trust.
Oakley | Winner of the Out-Spoken Prize for Page Poetry 2018. Oakley was part of Apples & Snakes’ Writing Room for emerging poets led by Roger Robinson and since then has performed at Jawdance, Citadel and for The RSC. Their collection of poems whilst Worcestershire Young Poet Laureate ‘in the dark times’ is published by Black Pear Press. 
Scarlett Sabet | Poet and performer. She has given poetry readings at City Lights in San Francisco, MOPOP Museum in Seattle, Bowery Poetry in New York,  Shakespeare and Co in Paris. In London she has read at the Southwark Playhouse, Leighton House Museum, The Groucho Club, and the Chelsea Arts Club. She regularly reads at The Troubadour in London. Scarlett's work has been featured on BBC Radio 4, London Live TV, GQ, and Dazed&Confused. Scarlett has her own publishing company which just released her third collection “Zoreh".
Oli Spleen | Hospitalised and fighting for his life in 2000, aged 22, Oli Spleen had an epiphany that he must follow his heart and write his way toward a better future. The resulting book ‘Depravikazi’ was published in 2003 by Running Water Publications. At the Brighton launch of the book his first band ‘The Flesh Happening’ was formed. In 2009 he formed the band ‘Pink Narcissus; and in 2013 released a solo album ‘Fag Machine’ which spawned a club-night of the same name which ran for three years and was the first to showcase live original music on Brighton’s gay scene. He is currently living in Brighton where he still performs and writes with his bands Pink Narcissus and Spleen. He is also in the process of recording his second solo album ‘Gaslight Illuminations’ which incorporates themes of psychological manipulation and the emotional fallout of a toxic relationship.




See you there ... bylinefestival.com




NEW this week: Send a poem to a friend
'Pessimism is for Lightweights' postcards
available exclusively at the Arnolfini Gallery, Bristol 



 summer festivals gigs gatherings 2018




AUGUST 24-27 | LIVEWIRE | BYLINE FESTIVAL


SEPTEMBER 15-16 | GOOD LIFE EXPERIENCE

SEPTEMBER 20 | BAD BETTY BOOK LAUNCH

SEPTEMBER 22 | KENILWORTH FESTIVAL




Rough Trade Booksroughtradebooks.com 

Salena’s Bookshoppe: salenagodden.bigcartel.com


‘LIVEwire’ out now, CD, LP vinyl and zine:  nymphsandthugs.net




Tuesday, 17 July 2018

the summer of love, courage and resistance








This has been the hottest and busiest of summer times. London has been in a heat wave that feels like it has lasted months now. It seems even the typical British weather is protesting Trumps visit! I have a to-do list that never ends, writing jobs, performing, travelling, mentoring and sharing and I feel so grateful. I like to be busy and kept on my toes. And when it cools down again, and when I'm alone and back in my wintry writing cave, I'll always remember this particular heat and this furious time, this summer of love and courage and resistance. I had a birthday and feel a little older and wiser. I also feel that there is still so much learning and growing to do, that's the beauty of this poetry thing, you gotta keep yourself guessing, keep listening, keep trying new things, experimenting, learning and growing.  



Loose Ends on the BBC iplayer -
https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0b90q2x

I read from #Pessimismisforlightweights on Loose Ends this weekend. They asked me to read 'It Isn't Punk To Seek Permission' which is quite a peppery poem choice for the BBC. It was delightful to contribute and meet all the other guests too. The show was broadcast on BBC Radio 4, listen again on the BBC iPlayer

One helluva gorgeous line up that included: Joanna Scanlan talking about her brilliant new work 'Pin Cushion'. Actor Alex Lawther of 'The End of the Fucking World' and 'Black Mirror' fame, talking about his new play The Jungle, about the refugee crisis and the Calais Jungle. The beautiful soulful sounds of Sabiyha + Oi Va Voi. Peter Hain talking about Nelson Mandela, the early days of the the anti-Apartheid movement, and the importance of protest + + more. Great radio, treat your ears, check it out on BBC Radio 4 

On July 8th I read at the Artists Against Trump event at The Shaw Theatre - Just Say No To Trump - with an amazing line up including Vanessa Redgrave, Mark Rylance, Low Key, Nadine Shah, Alexei Sayle and Johnny Fynn. What a line up! It was an extraordinary night, uplifting and empowering, check it out! Excerpts of all the performances herehttps://youtu.be/u0M7YLfplco






A huge thank you to the organisers and all that joined The Women's March! The Carnival of Resistance! Bring The Noise was phenomenal last Friday July 13th - They say a quarter of a million of us filled the streets of London to #bringthenoise, to say #nototrump and no to misogyny and sexism, to #standuptoracism and for gender equality, to call for change. To speak up for the voiceless and displaced, the abuse of children, the refugees and those not permitted to vote, and, and, and ... Oh there was SO much to march for on Friday 13th - And whilst Queen Elizabeth shook hands with Donald Trump on TV screens in pubs and homes - We were all on the streets singing, blowing whistles, and shouting into the blue skies at the hypocrisy and that to me was a beautiful and memorable moment ... It was inspirational, an electric energy, a huge wave of optimism on the streets of this city. 

I was invited by the Womens March to read in Parliament Square. I chose 'We Do Not Hold Hands With Hate' which you'll find on this blog here. And a new poem 'What About What About' which was written about the use of whataboutery and whatabouterism to distract us ... I'll maybe publish that somewhere soon, I'm still working on it. I love London. And judging by the crowds that day, London does not love Trump.


Next adventure ... 

I'm heading off on the magic bus to Churchtown now. Sometimes you want to go, where everyone knows you're weird... Very excited! It is probably the wildest and most joyous and eclectic gatherings of the year ... I hope to see you here and there and everywhere! Also looking forward to seeing lots of you Next Monday July 23rd at The Rough Trade Book launch party at the Social! Port Eliot! Green Gathering in Wales! Byline Festival with Pussy Riot! Edinburgh Book Festival! Scroll down for all festivals and gig dates, this summer is ....  Thank you!

Keep fighting the good fight!

xxsg



My jacket with white paint drying on my washing line


Salena Godden on stage, Parliament Square, London, Womens March, July 2018 




Latest reviews and news...

"Godden unleashes a ton of rage ..." 
The Quietus - http://thequietus.com


'Switch off the news. Read books. Take a walk. Listen to great music. Listen to the world never changing unless you change. Look at the sky and watch a sunset or sunrise. Engage in film and theatre. Support your artists. Use your library. Share petitions. Keep the pressure on....' 

'It Isn't Punk To Seek Permission'  
Caught By The River: https://www.caughtbytheriver.net










Coming up ... Gigs, festivals, gatherings, parties



JULY 20 -22 | CHURCHTOWN | CORNWALL









AUGUST 17-19 | EDINBURGH BOOK FESTIVAL

AUGUST 24-27 | LIVEWIRE | BYLINE FESTIVAL




SEPTEMBER 15-16 | GOOD LIFE EXPERIENCE

SEPTEMBER 20 | BAD BETTY BOOK LAUNCH

SEPTEMBER 22 | KENILWORTH FESTIVAL








ROUGH TRADE LAUNCH PARTY  JULY 23 2018



Rough Trade Books presents…  Rough Trade Editions

Rough Trade Editions comes hurtling out of the blocks with their first twelve pamphlets  — twelve small good things to encourage, console, renew and rewire the world for their readers. Come celebrate at the launch party on Monday 23rd July at The Social, Little Portland Street where Salena Godden brings forth the fire of her recent work on resistance and rebellion, Olly Todd reconfigures a world of fractured time, the slipperiness of memory and dislocation and Joe Dunthorne lovingly skewers the eccentric heroism of the small poetry presses in a new short fiction. David Keenan and Sophy Hollington re-build our symbolic present with a radical tarot for the counter-culture presented as a work of experimental fiction (check out Sophy's exhibition in the upstairs bar whilst you’re there too).  Kirk Lake tells the last act of the story of Randolph Turpin, the Leamington Licker, and through it a story of the corruption of capital, pride and identity, while Babak Ganjei acts as DJ for the evening playing music that might soundtrack his pamphlet Film Ideas which presents a simultaneously melancholy and hilarious satire of the film world.

Essential info…
Monday 23rd July || 7pm || The Social, Little Portland Street, London










Rough Trade Booksroughtradebooks.com 



Salena’s Bookshoppe: salenagodden.bigcartel.com

‘LIVEwire’ out now, CD, LP vinyl and zine:  nymphsandthugs.net









Friday, 6 July 2018

poem / A Ballad for Roger Casement





A Ballad for Roger Casement

"What gave that roar of mockery
That roar in the seas roar
The ghost of Roger Casement
Is beating at the door" - WB Yeats


This is a tale of contradiction
Paradox and disgrace
Justice was a stranger
And mercy did not show her face

Both catholic and protestant
Patriot and rebel and poet
Non-conformist and humanist
His words and actions show it

Heralded knight of the realm
And enemy of the state
Declared traitor and deviant
To die a martyrs fate

The easter moon rose full and yellow
A dark shadow cast across the sand
That night they captured Roger Casement
On the beach at Banna Strand

This is a tale of betrayal
Of lies and guilt and shame
He kneeled before the king
To die a pawn in that chess game

Never bow head or knee
Speak out for justice 'til your jaw is sore
The ghost of Roger Casement
Is beating at your door

For what distraction is petty controversy
The red herring is in the lies
Focus on scandal and not rebellion
While history unfolds before your eyes

They wanted to make an example
To find a neat scapegoat
They took Roger Casement
And hung him by the throat

Then they threw his naked body
Into an unmarked pit of lime
Creating a symbol and martyr
That would not dissolve with time

"I die for my country"
Said Casement in his dying hour
The power of distortion
The distortion of power

Stand up for all human rights
Social justice, the weak and the poor
Right now I hear the ghost of Roger Casement
Is beating at our door

What do you live for, what do you die for?
What is all this fighting for?
The ghost of Roger Casement
Is beating at our door.



(c) Salena Godden / June 2018
Poem commissioned by Inua Ellams poet in residence at the Tower of London
Written to be performed in the Tower Of London on June 28th 2018


Ahh I had the best time doing poetry at the Tower of London last week,
Thank you Stephen James Smith, Emma Dabiri and Inua Ellams! Legends!!

Thank you!  

This from RED BOX "Blown away by the generous donations collected from Friday's event!! This is enough to not only support our established school over summer but will also allow us to set up more and more red boxes in schools around Sheffield"

Sheffield was amazing! Thanks for all your donations for RED BOX!
I will try and have donation boxes at as many of my gigs as I can. PLEASE Follow @RedBoxProject and find out more about how to donate to your local #RedBoxproject Support this brilliant initiative here: http://redboxproject.org  #endperiodpoverty











Coming up ...
Gigs, festivals, gatherings, parties




JULY 7 | RESONANCE RADIO | TUNE IN 3.30pm



JULY 20 -22 | CHURCHTOWN | CORNWALL









AUGUST 17-19 | EDINBURGH BOOK FESTIVAL

AUGUST 24-27 | LIVEWIRE | BYLINE FESTIVAL




SEPTEMBER 7 | BBC RADIO | LOOSE ENDS

SEPTEMBER 15-16 | THE GOOD LIFE EXPERIENCE


SEPTEMBER 22 | KENILWORTH BOOK FESTIVAL







ROUGH TRADE EDITIONS ARE HERE









ROUGH TRADE LAUNCH PARTY  JULY 23 2018



Rough Trade Books presents…  Rough Trade Editions

Rough Trade Editions comes hurtling out of the blocks with their first twelve pamphlets  — twelve small good things to encourage, console, renew and rewire the world for their readers. Come celebrate at the launch party on Monday 23rd July at The Social, Little Portland Street where Salena Godden brings forth the fire of her recent work on resistance and rebellion, Olly Todd reconfigures a world of fractured time, the slipperiness of memory and dislocation and Joe Dunthorne lovingly skewers the eccentric heroism of the small poetry presses in a new short fiction. David Keenan and Sophy Hollington re-build our symbolic present with a radical tarot for the counter-culture presented as a work of experimental fiction (check out Sophy's exhibition in the upstairs bar whilst you’re there too).  Kirk Lake tells the last act of the story of Randolph Turpin, the Leamington Licker, and through it a story of the corruption of capital, pride and identity, while Babak Ganjei acts as DJ for the evening playing music that might soundtrack his pamphlet Film Ideas which presents a simultaneously melancholy and hilarious satire of the film world.

Essential info…
Monday 23rd July || 7pm || The Social, Little Portland Street, London