When I wrote a post about Lucy English a few weeks back most of what I said I could also say about Salena Godden.
Salena Godden is part of the fabric of 21st Century British literary culture. She makes radio documentaries for Radio 4, she performs at Aldeburgh, she hosts events and encourages the development of younger poets. She has been a fixture of the live perofmancespokenwordpoetry scene for TWENTY years. So where are the books Mister Publishing editors? What has the problem been? Too loud? Too rude? Too outspoken? Too female? Too Punk-Ass Poetry Queen for you? Don’t get me wrong and be misled by the title of the post. I am not pointing at Bloodaxe here. Neil Astely has done more to broaden the scope of poetry published in Britain than anyone else. He is a rock star. I only used the name Bloodaxe to get your attention (sorry Neil!). But my point remains. Name me another literary figure of comparable standing who is unpublished? Many of Salena’s early (male) contemporaries have been published. Why not Salena, why not Francesa Beard, why not Lucy English? Is it just the performance-spoken-word thing – guys – is that it?
When Salena’s forthcoming Burning Eye book Fishing in the Aftermath – Poems 1994-2014 was raised in a meeting with one of the bigger book chains there was instant name recognition from the buyer. A yep I know who Salena Godden is, moment. That is what you want as a publisher isn’t it? She was on Radio 4 last week and she is on Radio 3 soon with Ian McMillan (June 12th I think) and was interviewed on BBC Radio Scotland a few weeks ago. Hmmm. Anyone surprised that we wanted to publisher her work? Didn’t think so. So why has it taken so long? Yep I know. Bit of a punk-ass ranty blog post, but we do try to do what we say on the tin here at Burning Eye.
Salena is out on tour now beating the grass in advance of publication. Articles are forthcoming with a bunch of magazines (printed ones you can buy in Smiths!). What a rock star. If there are any other publishers who would like Salena to give their poets classes in how to promote your art I am sure she would be glad to give you a quote, of the monetary kind.
Here’s where to catch her in the next few weeks ahead of publication:
June 8th / Garden of Abandon / Chelsea Fringe Festival / London
Hammer & Tongue Tour
June 3rd / Hammer & Tongue Tour / Hysteria / Hackney / London
June 4th / Hammer & Tongue Tour / Bird Cage / Bristol
June 5th / Hammer & Tongue Tour / Komedia / Brighton
June 9th / Hammer & Tongue Tour / Green Note / Camden / London
June 10th / Hammer & Tongue Tour / Old Fire Station / Oxford
June 11th / Hammer & Tongue Tour / The Fountain / Cambridge
And you can keep an eye out for other events on her Facebook Events page.
Fishing in the Aftermath – Poems 1994-2014 will be published in early July. You can pre-order your copy from the Burning Eye Book Store for £12.00 incl. P&P and we will ship it on to you the moment it arrives from the printer.