Thirteen years ago today Salena Godden was stranded in New York. In a friend’s apartment she wrote what would become the title poem of her Burning Eye collection Fishing in the Aftermath – Poems 1994-2014. I think it is a landmark poem for Salena. It acts as a kind of pivot in the book. I think there is a subtle difference in the poems written before and after it, a visible evolution in style. But look the purpose of this post isn’t to write you a huge analysis of the book. You go read it and make your own judgement. Then buy me a pint sometime and we can debate it. The purpose of this post is to mark the date and chalk the timeline and to present you with this sample of Salena’s fine book, including Fishing in the Aftermath, written in Brooklyn, 13th September 2001.
Is an update from the dark heart of the operations centre of the Burning Eye adventure. We feel we have a duty to bring to your attention the following important information:
1. News from The General:
Keep up with the left honourable Salena Godden as she continues her mission to perform EVERYWHERE there is to perform. Full info here at Waiting for Godden. Salena’s Burning Eye book Fishing in the Aftermath – Poems 1994-2014 is available here here here from the Burning Eye Book Store which regular readers will understand is a figment of our collective imaginations next to a cactus and a tramp. Although it occurs to us that if that was a compulsory either/or “lick it” my money would be on the tramp. (If this means nothing to you – you need to get the book my friend. It has the answer.)
You can also read an interview with Salena here courtesy of The Skinny.
Salena’s memoir Springfield Road is out any day now from Unbound. More info here.
2. POOR QUEEN
Everyone is feeling sorry for old Liz II – The Sequel. My people north of the border look like they might just give a mighty eff you the London Establishment so some are calling her the Last Queen of Scotland. Ho ho. But look my friends stop feeling sorry for one of the richest people on the planet and direct your energies in the direction of THIS Poor Queen by Mab Jones. The only book we have published that is as rude as Salena Godden’s. There might be a trend here. Be warned. Also listen to Mab’s performance here in collaboration with Little Eris for a taste of what to expect:
Poor Queen is also available from from The Burning Eye Bookstore. Huzzah we hear you cry.
3. BACK TO SCHOOL ESSENTIALS
It is that time of year that the marauding hordes return to the hallowed halls of learning. Make sure your little darlings have this essential book to ensure the navigate their way to the very best grades that are mathematically possible without bribing the examination authority: APPLIED MATHEMATICS by Dan Simpson. (Warning: May contain POETRY and not algebra.)
Applied Mathematics is ALSO available from… yes you guessed it Amazon. No no no we meant to say THE BURNING EYE BOOK STORE!
More to follow. Eight in fact. Yes EIGHT more incendiary devices disguised as books from Burning Eye and not a mainstream zzzzz fest amongst them. Stay tuned.
Post-modern, political, and bawdy, Poor Queen is packed with dark humour. Mab Jones is a popular performer across the UK, gracing the stage of pub, club, theatre and festival tent. She projects the frustrations of ordinary people and everyday life in a straight talking rhythmic blast of comic poetry.
“A superb performance poet in the tradition of Joolz Denby and Pam Ayres”
“Poor Queen Mab? Shelley some mistake. Lovely person, great poet, Wales should be proud of her.”
Attila the Stockbroker
“Mab Jones is a whirlwind of controlled, lyrical delirium. Her work is smart and funny, saturated with meaning.”
Literary Death Match, USA
“Witty verse telling of lively working-class scenarios.”
“A unique talent.”
Unlike many a debut poet, Dan has given this collection a thorough stress test on the live circuit, and many of these poems have been commissioned for public projects. Dan is a poet who likes to play around with form. He likes to deconstruct and get a bit meta with the mental algorithms that sit beneath a poem.
The result is an accessible and enjoyable collection of poems for geeks, nerds, and anyone who likes playing with words.
“Quantum poetry at its most precise and powerful”
“Dan Simpson is brilliantly funny and super smart. He’s the kind of guy you take home to your mother. If your mum is really into excellent poetry.”
How often is it that a poet with the name recognition factor and critical standing of Salena Godden publishes their first collection 20 years into their career? Perhaps it is simply that no publisher has had the courage to commit themselves to the task of reflecting the force of nature that is Salena Godden to the page… until Burning Eye came along!
Be clear, Fishing in the Aftermath is more that a sweeping up exercise, more than a greatest hits retrospective, more than a gathering up of old work. Salena takes us on a hair-raising ride through the process of a writer, the highs, the lows, the drinks, the lovers, the fights, the sex (especially the sex) that she has embraced like a method actor in search of a character, and shared with audiences over twenty years. Like a 21st Century female Bukowski Godden delivers her message straight and full strength. Not for the weak-kneed or faint-hearted, Salena is a hurricane of personality and energy, and the full force of the considerable talent that has made her a hit at literary festivals the world over is delivered here in all its frank glory.
Salena Godden is one of Britain’s foremost spoken word artists. A regular performer at literary festivals in the UK and around the world in a career than is now entering its third decade. Salena tops the bill at literary events and festivals nationally and internationally. She can be heard on the BBC as a guest on Woman’s Hour, Click, From Fact To Fiction, The Verb and as a resident poet on R4’s Saturday Live. She currently works alongside award-winning radio producer Rebecca Maxted with their most recent production Try A Little Tenderness – The Lost Legacy of Little Miss Cornshucks aired on BBC R4 in May 2014. This follows the success of their last collaboration Stir it Up! –50 Years of Writing Jamaica also for BBC R4.
Fishing In The Aftermath – Poems 1994-2014 marks twenty years of poetry and performance and the majority of the work included here is previously unpublished in book form.
ISBN 9781909136366 170pages
As the response to our call for poetry collection submissions from performers was more than 3 times the size to last year it is taking longer than anticipated to look at them all. The mission is to reply by the end of this week so if you submitted we will be in touch to let you know one way or the other. Please don’t email asking for an update in the mean time because any time spent reading and reply to those emails will just make the whole process longer. Thanks all.