Thursday 13 November 2014

November: Snap, crackle and pop!

We had a wicked and wonderful time last Wednesday at The Book Club Boutique Burning Eye Books Bonfire night party at Vout o Reenees! Thank you to Michelle Madsen for helping me host it and to all who were there. This is a lovely group photo of ten of my favourite poetry comrades and Burning Eye writers and poets, Rob Auton, Alice Furse, Joelle Taylor, Mab Jones, Daniel Cockrill, Dan Simpson, A F Harold, Michelle Madsen, Salena Godden and Clive Birnie the brains behind Burning Eye Books. Check out Burning Eye Books and make sure you are following and reading these ten very excellent poetry game changing super stars. The next Book Club Boutique is on Wednesday December 3rd! Please scroll down for more dates and links. Watch this page and the @bookcboutique tweets for the inside shizzle...

'Springfield Road' is out NOW! I'd like to say a huge heart-exploding THANK YOU for the personal messages I have been finding each day on this electronic beach. Almost every morning I'm waking up to find notes from school and college friends, some from poetry and writer comrades but mostly from strangers, telling me this book is reaching people: That some of you remember how it was, that this book reminded you of your childhood and that reading this you recalled some things you thought you had long forgotten. Some people have been reading it aloud with partners, which is just about as beautiful as it gets. Some of you found comfort in this book because you lost a parent or you missed your dad too. I will never be able to properly express how much these letters mean to me. Nothing has prepared me for people to like this book. Hundreds of you pledged to help get this book into print, but I have been so busy gigging and hustling and fighting my corner, fighting to be heard, I clean forgot how much the actual content of this work might effect people.

But for me the real hard work has only just begun. This past few weeks I haven't been feeling at all like a poet, I have been feeling more like a saleswoman. To jazz things up I pretend I am a sexy secretary. Out walking yesterday I found an Aladdin's cave stationers and my stationary cupboard is packed with new goodies enticing me to keep on, I found smashing coloured inks and beautiful envelopes to post books to potential reviewers. You see I have no choice but to just keep on, keeping on and plugging away. I'm told that it is tough and competitive out there in the book trade and especially this time of year. There is a groundswell of sensational memoirs, ghost-written memoirs, celebrity memoirs, rags-to-riches memoirs, rubber-neck misery memoirs and Christmas joke memoirs to compete with and and and... all this talk makes me work harder a bit like this:

 I just want to say three cheers to the kind book shop keepers who are stocking my books, thanks to the bloggers who are blogging and thanks for the full-house of fantastic 5-star reviews on Amazon. Also thanks to indie bookshops and the support shown from the likes of The Big Green Bookshop in North London and St Leonards Central in Hastings. Thank you all!
One of my favourite London gigs are the good comrades at Bookslam. I was delighted to take part in a sell-out event at The Clapham Grand last month (pictured below). It was a phenomenal line-up of powerful women, raising money and awareness for Womens Aid and hosted by the brilliant comedian Felicity Ward. It was an amazing evening, you can hear the audio  on my mixcloud here

And meanwhile back at HQ...

Unbound launched the #womeninprint campaign.  
Bravo! Here's to more power and more diversity, more colour and flavour and voice. I have to say I don't usually like gangs and cliques and labels and boxes. I have always been happy here, playing the outsider and playing by my own rules - but this isn't about tokenism or girls in the corner of the playground asking to get passed the ball - This is about redressing the balance and it is so important and valid. 

Put quite simply - If we don't have more books by women published we only share half of our heritage. Our literary history and our stories and memories will be predominantly narrated and imagined by the great white male and all the other colourful fish, stories and experiences, remain ignored, silenced and invisible. Please follow #womeninprint on twitter and lets support each other and work together to get more voices heard, more women in print and in the bookshops.

This week, I completed a commission to write an erotic short story for The Pigeonhole as part of their #sexstave series. The Pigeonhole is a great way to access short stories and read great books in weekly instalments. I think my story is launched on December 12th. And needless to say it is very naughty. The Pigeonhole is a brilliant new platform for both readers and writers, please check it out for yourself here

And last but not least...
I've been longlisted for the Transmission Prize. I haven't been on a list or nominated for a prize ever before. It is exciting to be included, have a look here, I'm in such wonderful company. Thank you Salon London

Some of the latest press and reviews:

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…" Debjani Biswas-Hawkes   read more here

Something Rhymed: We asked authors Maggie Gee and Salena Godden to tell us about their similarities and differences, and the role in their friendship of the written word. read more here

Loud and Quiet Magazine: "Salena Godden follows up her recent poetry anthology with a lyrical and witty memoir painting a portrait of the artist as a young girl. Springfield Road tells the wide-eyed tale of Godden’s childhood as the daughter of a jazz musician and a go-go dancer set against the lovingly rendered backdrop of 1970s Hastings.  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." Lee Bullman

Write Out Loud: "Salena Godden is an absolute master of – knowing your assumptions, playing to them, and then flipping them completely." Laura Taylor

links and dates for the diary:
November 22/23rd: Cosmic Trigger with Daisy Campbell, Liverpool 

December 3rd: THE BOOK CLUB BOUTIQUE / Vout-O-Reenees

December 9th: The Pigeonhole Launch Party / Zetter Hotel, Clerkenwell

December 10th: Burn After Reading / Seven Dials, Covent Garden  

December 11th: Unbound at Waterstones / central London / details tbc..

December 15th: 451, Apples and Snakes / Nuffield Studio, Southampton

BBC R4's  'Loose Ends' feat. Salena Godden is available Here

BBC R3 'The Verb' Viv Albertine, Hollie McNish, Salena Godden on Mixcloud

BBC Scotland in conversation with Janice Forsyth in the 'Culture Studio' Here

BBC R4 'The Lost Legacy of Little Miss Cornshucks' itunes podcast here 

Autumn is gold outside and it is beautiful.
I'm going to the park to paddle in puddles now!
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