Friday 14 February 2020

Poem 'Pessimism is for Lightweights' new home in the People's History Museum, Manchester

People's History Museum, Manchester

            Salena Godden’s poem, Pessimism is for Lightweights, has had a life of it’s own. Initially commissioned by author John Higgs in 2017, it was first performed live at a For The Many rally at the Kentish Town Forum, London. The poem was a public art piece displayed at the Arnolfini Gallery in Bristol from January 2018 to August 2019. It then became the title work of  Pessimism is for Lightweights: 13 Pieces of Courage and Resistance published by Rough Trade Books in June 2018. 

This work is inspired by protest and the people on the front line, pushing for equality, for social justice, for peace, for women’s empowerment and amplification and it continues to be a teaching tool shared in schools and universities. It has been sung by 10,000 strong crowd of 21st century suffragettes in Trafalgar Square, as a rallying cry for March 4 Women, at Parliament Square with Extinction Rebellion and it rings out loud and clear in peaceful protests and festival fields still. 

Donated by the author in February 2020, to mark People’s History Museum’s 10th birthday on this site. Godden dedicates this work with love and solidarity "to the people fighting to save the heart of our community and the soul of our humanity."

I'm so honoured, humbled  and happy in this moment. My poem is now on permanent display in People's History Museum in Manchester - It was unveiled last night and donated to celebrate their 10 year anniversary! Happy Birthday PHM! Solidarity and thank you to everyone at PHM and huge thanks and love to fantastic designer Craig Oldham and publisher Rough Trade Books for making this happen! I'm very excited about this and what it represents and who it represents! — Salena Godden

Due to work commitments I'm doing fewer live shows and performances in 2020 and so I'm very super excited to announce this, my first headline show of 2020s. Looking forward to busting out of winter hibernation to join my friends for this one-off very special live show: LIVEwire at Verve Poetry and Spoken Word Festival at the Birmingham Hippodrome! Feb 22nd! 

I will be performing alongside my great friends, the inimitable Toria Garbutt, Oakley Flanagan, and Saili Katebe all hosted by our brilliant Matt Abbott of Nymphs and Thugs. Get info and tickets via Nymphs and Thugs and Verve Poetry and Spoken Word Festival. See you there you beautiful poetry people! 

ps: Matt and I will be running a poetry workshop that afternoon before the show, also in Birmingham, so please sign up for that if you want us to take a look at your new poems. Go to Verve website for details about that! 

High voltage sign

High voltage sign
LIVEwire at Verve Festival, Birmingham 

Episode 3 of Roaring 20s Radio goes out LIVE on Soho Radio this Saturday February 15th from 4-6pm! We'll be joined in the studio by special guests, the sensational poet Nikita Gill and author of The 392 Ashley Hickson-Lovence!! It's gonna be a lively live one!!

Roaring 20s Radio is available as a podcast -

Thank you for tuning in!! Xx

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