My 2017 list: These are some of the beautiful books I made or contributed work to in 2017. It's a bright and brilliant, diverse and inclusive list. Why not GIVE books this Christmas and support independent publishing and home brewed art, fiction and poetry
Thank you to everyone who has been there for us and this work this year. Thank you to everyone pushing for books, for literacy, publishing and promoting poetry, and thanks to everyone at all the festivals and poetry events and bookshops. I spent most of 2017 in the poetry trenches with these warriors and poets in the pages of these books and anthologies listed below. Also this year I contributed to two feature films, I did lots of BBC programmes and podcasts and about 60 gigs and festivals, and for me that's a lot of poets, and a lot of laughter, lots of fireside rum and sunrises, and lots of time spent with a heart filling and spilling, feeling the joy and sharing the inspiration. I love my friends, and all of this beautiful work coming from the good place, the good fight, with the sole intention of moving poetry forward, gathering the good people and sharing anger and fury and the power of language.
2017 was a year of speaking up and standing up. This year I backed the Nasty Women campaign. I spoke in Parliament Square against Brexit. I shared a stage with Jeremy Corbyn. This year I was a poet in reaction and not in creation. I wrote and performed new work like RED and SOUP in response to the daily flood of shit news.
I feel a strong urge to return to the source now, to switch off my phone, to walk, read and dream more, to hibernate and feed my passion for writing and creating. What a year it has been, and who knows what 2018 will bring, I pray for peace and some sanity, I'm tuning out from the noise and listening for a clear voice. Right now I have nothing but gratitude and thanks for everyone who is fighting the good fight! Books can change the world!
Released with Nymph and Thugs. In 2017 we produced LIVEwire in print, in a full colour zine and also on double vinyl. The vinyl album features additional material and alternative pieces from the CD version. I spent much of 2017 touring and at festivals with this work. Thank you to the brilliant Nymphs and Thugs. Matt Abbott is a pioneer and a visionary and it is a joy to work with him. This year LIVEwire received 5-star reviews and it was shortlisted for the prestigious Ted Hughes Award. I was also shortlisted for The Jerwood Compton prize and a Saboteur award this year. LIVEwire features live audio performances of poetry anthems My Tits Are More Feminist Than Your Tits, Can't Be Bovvered, and I Want Love. Plus live theatre recordings from memoir Springfield Road and Fishing In The Aftermath poems too.
NEW RIVER PRESS YEARBOOK 2017/2018
Year Of The Propaganda Corrupted Eclipse
Published by New River Press. This beauty just arrived from the printers this week, from the desk of powerhouse poetry couple Robert Montgomery and Greta Bellamacina. This collection is 300 pages, 112 outsider and protest poets from all over the world
The BEST Poetry Book In The World
Published by Burning Eye - Anthology of the best spoken word and performance poetry in the UK, celebrating five years of hip indie publisher Burning Eye Books. It's a bumper annual of all of your favourite live and lively poets. A perfect stocking filler for Christmas!
THE GOOD IMMIGRANT
Published by Unbound Books. Trailblazing, award-winning anthology, audio book and paperback out now. 21 essays by 21 diverse writers and thinkers and poets on what it means to be BAME in 21st century UK. Edited by brilliant author Nikesh Shukla, this book was crowdfunded in record time and has been touring the UK. Features essay 'Shade' by Salena Godden, a live performance version of this is featured on the LIVEwire album.
BARE LIT ANTHOLOGY
Published by Brain Mill Press, edited by Courttia Newland Mend Mariwany and Kavita Bhanot. In support of the Bare Lit Festival, showcasing award-winning British authors of colour. Features Blue Cornflowers by Salena Godden which was shortlisted for the BAME Guardian short story prize.
Published by Neu Reekie and Polygon Books. Not pictured above, but I'll add it here because its a vibrant and colourful anthology of poetry and performance from the excellent Neu Reekie crew based in Edinburgh. A beautiful collection of international voices, new faces and poetry heroes. Features My Tits Are More Feminist Than your Tits by Salena Godden.
AN UNRELIABLE GUIDE TO LONDON
Published by Influx Press. This is a wonderful and richly diverse collection of colourful London short fiction and urban myth and legends. An amazing line up of writers of note, a warm celebration of this colourful city. Features 'The Camden Blood Thieves' a short bloody story by Salena Godden.
New for 2018: OTHERS
Currently crowdfunding with Unbound - Others celebrates how words can take us out of the selves we inhabit and show us the world as others see it. Great writing can illuminate ordinary kinds of otherness, by taking us into points of view we might not otherwise have been able to enter. I believe books like this can change the world, open up conversation and connections and inspire debate and action. Contributors will include: Damian Barr, Noam Chomsky, Rishi Dastidar, Peter Ho Davies, Louise Doughty, Salena Godden, Colin Grant, Sam Guglani, Matt Haig, Aamer Hussein, Anjali Joseph, AL Kennedy, Joanne Limburg, Tiffany Murray, Sara Nović, Edward Platt, Alex Preston, Tom Shakespeare, Kamila Shamsie and Will Storr... All net profits from the book will be donated to the charities Refugee Action and Stop Hate UK, pledge now!
AWARD WINNING DOCUMENTARY: CAHIER AFRICAIN
INDIE COMEDY MOVIE: BRAKES
NEW WORK: 'MRS DEATH MISSES DEATH'
REFUGEE COMMUNITY KITCHEN