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 -
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 here: https://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!
|My jacket with white paint drying on my washing line
|Salena Godden on stage, Parliament Square, London, Womens March, July 2018
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'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....'
Coming up ... Gigs, festivals, gatherings, parties
JULY 20 -22 | CHURCHTOWN | CORNWALL
JULY 23 | ROUGH TRADE BOOK LAUNCH
JULY 28 | CAUGHT BY THE RIVER | PORT ELIOT
JULY 29| POETRY STAGE | PORT ELIOT
AUGUST 4-5 | GREEN GATHERING | WALES
AUGUST 16 | SCOTTISH LIBRARY | EDINBURGH
AUGUST 17-19 | EDINBURGH BOOK FESTIVAL
AUGUST 24-27 | LIVEWIRE | BYLINE 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.
Monday 23rd July || 7pm || The Social, Little Portland Street, London
‘LIVEwire’ out now, CD, LP vinyl and zine: nymphsandthugs.net