Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Special performance: HUH | October 21st | The Albany, Deptford

Following standing ovations and a sold-out show at Barbican #OpenFest 2018 at LSO St Luke’s, booking is essential for the return of HUH featuring some of the most exciting voices from contemporary music and poetry. Seamlessly crossing music, poetry, song and rap, HUH looks at migration, movement and identity through rhythm and rhyme.

HUH by Jasmin Kent Rodgman

Sunday October 21st, The Albany, Deptford 


Errollyn Wallen | In Our Lifetime

Salena Godden | Shade | The Good Immigrant

Lyrix Organix: Sophia Thakur | Feds

Lyrix Organix: Kieron Rennie | Snow Leopard 

Ayanna Witter-Johnson feat. Solomon OB | Rise Up 

Jasmin Kent Rodgman feat. Salena Godden | The Letter

Animation by Joanna Layla and Lizzy Rowlatt

Rough Trade Books | roughtradebooks.com 

Nymphs and Thugs | nymphsandthugs.net

Tuesday, 9 October 2018

Special autumn shows: Mrs Death Misses Death

Mrs Death Misses Death

Mrs Death Misses Death is a new major work in progress, a collaboration by poet and author Salena Godden and award-winning composer and musician Peter Coyte. It is a rousing call to arms, and a celebration of loving this life and our short time here . . . Because we all know a lot of dead people now

Live on stage together, Mrs Death Misses Death, is a performance from a new book, fiction and poetry by Salena Godden, accompanied by breathtaking music and soundscapes by Peter Coyte. This work has been shared twice so far, at sold-out shows at the Last Word Festival, Roundhouse, London and Blah's Big Weekend at the Wardrobe Theatre, Bristol. This autumn 2018 we see more from this new project at The CheltenhamLiterary Festival, Friday 12th October, and The Tom Thumb Theatre, Margate, November 16th.
Earlier this year in April 2018, Salena was invited to stay in Bill Drummond's Curfew Tower, Cushendall, Co. Antrim, Ireland, to spend the month working on a first drafts of this book. This book has been composed on the lips - written as spoken - with the use of speech and sound recordings to trigger the writing. The month's writing retreat was supported with thanks to Edinburgh based artistic collective Neu Reekie and The Society of Authors. Early scratch performances of Mrs Death's soliloquy 'I Know A Lot Of Dead People Now' were slipped into Salena's poetry shows at special events like The Margate Bookie, Festival 23 in Sheffield and Cosmic Trigger at The Cockpit Theatre, London, to test Mrs Death's rallying cry on festival and theatre audiences across the UK.
Salena adds: "We have a myriad of ways to say goodbye, to both let go and to hold on. The responses are universal and personal at once. I have been writing about our shared experience, how we express loss, how we mourn and grieve, and more to the point how we survive. Time is a trick. History repeats itself and our memory is at best selective. When writing about death I find I am really writing about life. This is a timely reminder to celebrate the everyday miracle of survival, this life, this world and our short time here."
It was 1997 when Salena Godden and Peter Coyte first met and formed a ska-punk band SaltPeter. Over the decades they have produced several albums and radio programmes and tours. This new body of work will mark 21 years of this highly original and trailblazing partnership. The BBC have been following this work-in-progress throughout 2018, recording rehearsals and song writing sessions, plus recordings made during the writing process in The Curfew Tower in Ireland. The documentary about Mrs Death is scheduled for broadcast on BBC R4 on December 2nd and repeated on December 8th 2018. Please note this is still early days and a work that has been made totally independently. It is currently unpublished, unavailable online, so please come see it, hear it and feel it ... live.

December: Xmas London date to be announced!! 

"The traditional death figure as a homeless, broken old black woman is surprisingly and refreshingly revolutionary. The trip-hoppy tones of Mrs Death Misses Death ... lush and haunting." For Books Sake
"We had a little taster of Salena Godden's new work, Mrs Death Misses Death at the Bookie on Sunday night. There was much applause." Margate Bookie

"Death, like life is everything, it is horrific and terrible and filthy and funny and beautiful and this is what Salena knows on a visceral level" Claire Callender, The Green Funeral Company 
"Salena Godden has always got a job with us. She treats death with respect but doesn't fetishise it or pay it undue deference either. She knows life is more about letting go than hanging on." Ru Callender, The Green Funeral Company
"Macabre, mesmerising and deeply moving. Another tour de force from the pen of Salena Godden. Mrs Death Misses Death is a must see for those of us that know a lot of dead people now." Oli Spleen
"I found it moving, funny and deeply refreshing. And you will too!" John Nicholson, director, Peepolykus
"SaltPeter cook up their unique mixture of scandalous lyrics and infectious music. If you can imagine a blend of The Specials, The Blockheads, Ween and Kate Bush playing a mix of dance, rock, ska and dub then you're still only part of the way there. They make music for your feet, head, belly ... and other bits besides." BBC Radio, Charlie Gillet RIP

Tuesday, 2 October 2018

NEW this week | New releases | Limited editions

Salena Godden LIVE at Byline Festival E.P

Released this week, October 4th

❤️💛 Wednesday October 3rd 2018 
NOT National Poetry Day Rough Trade
Rough Trade East, Brick Lane, London

Rough Trade Books brings a selection of their poets and friends along to Brick Lane. 
Hear from Olly Todd, Harriet Moore, Salena Godden , Scarlett Sabet as well as Will Burns accompanied by guitarist Adam Chetwood. The Letterpress Collective will join us all at Rough Trade East with their mobile letterpress. Come and print a poem yourself with some help from the experts...

'Pessimism is for Lightweights' signed letterpress posters
Pressed by signed and and on sale for 
National Poetry Day available at the Arnolfini Gallery, Bristol

We will be collecting donations of period products for the Red Box Project 
Please bring packets of sanitary towels and tampons! 

💛❤️ Thursday October 4th 2018 
National Poetry Day Tongue Fu Show
Chris Redmond and The Tongue Fu Band
Salena Godden, Toby Campion, Amerah Saleh, The Boat Poets
Tongue Fu, Arnolfini, Bristol

This show will be LIVEstreamed with The Space Arts 
Follow TONGUE FU on facebook or twitter


Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Coming up: Not National Poetry Day at Rough Trade East + National Poetry Day at Arnolfini Gallery

❤️💛 Wednesday October 3rd 2018 
Not National Poetry Day
Rough Trade East, Brick Lane, London

💛❤️ Thursday October 4th 2018 
National Poetry Day
Tongue Fu, Arnolfini, Harbourside, Bristol

Press and reviews....

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

'Switch off the news. Read books. 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....' Run Riot -  http://www.run-riot.com

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

"This brilliant poem is here to remind us Pessimism is for Lightweights. Print it. Laminate it. And send it to all the wonderful women in your life." 

"Godden is less Godden and more Goddess, a superbly provocative delivery. Pessimism is for Lightweights appeals to me, as Godden puts it, “it’s apathy that hurts us all…love will conquer hate,” and this collection seems to surround itself with love."
Keira Brown in The Fountain Review - https://thefountain.eu/books

"Salena Godden’s Pessimism for Lightweights is a visceral approach to resistance poetry. As with Godden’s previous work, there is a raw, explosive energy to each poem" 
Adelle Stripe in Caught By The River - https://www.caughtbytheriver.net

"This year has seen Godden take centre stage and she’s worked hard for it. Her poetry embraces, it doesn’t coddle, it’s a poetry for people. There’s always a kick to her work." 
Tim Wells in The Morning Star - https://morningstaronline.co.uk

Rough Trade Booksroughtradebooks.com 

Salena’s Bookshoppe: salenagodden.bigcartel.com

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

Monday, 10 September 2018

Poem | Time To Check In


The shop windows are
all orange and Halloween

The toothless plastic pumpkin
grins with a wicked flame

The days get grey
as wrung out ropes

Fire-yellow leaves
become a rotten mulch

Cold coffin toppings and
decay in the gutters

The stars expire and
here comes the dark

It’s the beginning
Of suicide season

My friends feel it
we leave messages
to make sure we’re all ok

“Can we meet for a quiet pint,
just us, and just the one, to catch up
and check in…”

I imagine a death watch beetle
tapping out its vigil to attract mates

Hey you Squirrel Nutkin
did you save enough nuts and seeds?
Will you make it through the long dark?

Last years moth-balled winter coat looks hopeless,
but it's a good job it still fits over everything you're hiding.

Because here comes winter 

Pensioners freeze in their beds
homeless people die in shop doorways
refugees drown in frozen seas
the poor will eat their young

The noisy get busy 
packaging premature seasons greetings
stocking up on mince pies and port
soaking fruit for the figgy pudding

Poor poets drown their sorrows
artists nail down the canvas sails and
musicians hide from baliffs
we all burn your rejection letters for light

The mice come and get thin and hungry
And spiders, here come the spiders

The Colony closed down
the pubs close down
the libraries close down
the circus left town

And they tell us poetry don’t sell
art is the first thing
on the fire.

Here comes the cold, so beware,
wary you don’t get trapped
beneath ice, 

Just hold your breath
and get to Christmas

Just hold your breath
and make it to Easter

No…hang on!

You just have to
make it through January
and fucking death is January.

Then to February
fucking murder
is bloody Valentines

But I heart you!
I really do

And I don’t want to lose you
like I lost the path
And I don’t want to lose you
in the dark.

We don't mean to get lost -
but we don’t always get what we want
or say what we mean.

Goodbye summer

You come down so hard
you go through the ceiling
it's all cobwebs and fog and soup

You've been having trouble breathing
grabbing space to breathe

It's like kicking and punching
under chunks of frozen time

A tired bee is trapped and
banging it's face against time's window 

But I hope you can hear me writing this
I had no credit to hear your message
and you had no money to return my call

Oh my love
I remember this crash

It's that old orange moth eaten jumper
You push your thumbs through the sleeve 

It is that time of letting go
We must make sure we hold on to each other
We must make sure

We meet for
just for the one to
catch up
and check in…

Just the one to
catch up
and check in…

Just the one to
catch up
and check in…

Just the one.

© 2008. Salena Godden  / Edited 2018

Unpublished poem, archive piece. 
I think I feel a bit like this every September ... 
This was written 10 years ago,
Please check in with your loved ones, 
Please buy books to support indie artists and indie publishing, 
Sending love and books to you all! Make soup! xxsg 


Two new anthologies for autumn:

Edited by Rita Osei and Michelle Olley, 50 pieces by a selection of 16 female creators from across the globe. Anthology includes published works, repertoire pieces and new verses written especially for this book. Launch party at Vout O'Reenees on September 12th! tickets: https://www.eventbrite.com

The Dizziness of Freedom
A collection of writing on themes of mental health awareness is coming out on Bad Betty Press and launched on September 20th at Rich Mix in London and then followed by various events up and down the UK. Contemporary poets speak out about mental health in this groundbreaking anthology. Edited by Amy Acre and Jake Wild Hall. Foreword by Melissa Lee-Houghton: tickets: https://badbettypress.com











LIVEwire poet - Iona Lee 

Rough Trade Books > www.roughtradebooks.com 

Albums, t-shirts, merch, LIVEwire poets >  www.nymphsandthugs.net