Salena Godden

Author of poetry collections Under The Pier (Nasty Little Press); Fishing in the Aftermath: Poems 1994-2014 (Burning Eye); literary childhood memoir Springfield Road (Unbound) and Shade published in the ground breaking essay anthology The Good Immigrant (Unbound). Her live poetry album LIVEwire was released with indie spoken word label Nymphs and Thugs and shortlisted for the Ted Hughes Award.

Latest book: ‘Pessimism Is For Lightweights – 13 pieces of Courage and Resistance’ was published by Rough Trade Books in July 2018 in the first Rough Trade Editions series. Rough Trade Books is an exciting new publishing venture in the mould of the pioneering record label. The poem ‘Pessimism is for Lightweights’ is currently a pubic poetry art piece and is on display outside the Arnolfini Gallery, Bristol. ‘Pessimism is for Lightweights’ was included in the Rough Trade Top Ten Books for 2018.

‘LIVEwire’ a live poetry collection was released with independent spoken word label Nymphs & Thugs. Written, performed and produced by Salena Godden, this spoken word album features live and studio recordings, archives plus brand new unpublished works and songs. LIVEwire also included performance pieces from books ‘Springfield Road’ and ‘Fishing in The Aftermath’. ‘LIVEwire’ was shortlisted for the Ted Hughes Award for new work in poetry and is available now on CD, digital download, full-colour zine and double LP vinyl from

A short-fiction ‘Blue Cornflowers’ was shortlisted for the 4th Estate and Guardian short story prize. This was published in the Bare Lit Anthology by Brain Mill Press. Salena Godden was also shortlisted for ‘Best Spoken Word Performer’ in the 2017 Saboteur awards and nominated for the 2017 Jerwood Compton Poetry Fellowship.

An essay titled ‘Shade’ was published in The Good Immigrant. This bestselling book was crowd-funded in record time and published with Unbound. It featured as a Radio 4 ‘Book of the Week’ and won the Readers Choice Book Of The Year Award. It was also shortlisted in the non-fiction category of The British Book Awards.

As one of the UK’s most iconic poets, Salena is a regular performer at literary events, topping the bill at numerous festivals nationally and internationally. She has appeared on BBC radio programmes such as The Essay, The Verb, Loose Ends, Fact To Fiction and as poet in residence on the BBC’s Saturday Live and BBC World Service programme Click. Salena has written and presented several arts programmes with award winning documentary maker and producer Rebecca Maxted. These include ‘Stir it up – 50 Years Writing Jamaica’ and ‘Try A little Tenderness – The Lost Legacy of Little Miss Cornshucks’ both for BBC.

Mrs Death Misses Death is a major new work. It is a debut fiction by Salena Godden with an accompanying soundtrack composed with Peter Coyte. This work has been shared at sold-out shows at the Last Word Festival, Roundhouse, London, Wardrobe Theatre, Bristol, The Cheltenham Literary Festival and The Tom Thumb Theatre in Margate. A BBC Radio 4 documentary following 12 months of this work in progress was broadcast in December 2018.

Poetry and tour dates are at ‘Waiting For Godden’

We represent Salena for literary, film and TV rights. To speak to us about these please email AGENCY@OWNIT.LONDON