Reading… Fishing in the Aftermath

A couple of months ago, I went to Neu! Reekie! with Elisabeth, and saw Salena Godden performing her awesome slam poetry. Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago, when Burning Eye Books mentioned on Twitter that her first collection, Fishing in the Aftermath – Poems 1994-2014 would be published in July. I got my hands on a proof copy, and devoured it as I sped down to London on the Megabus last week. I’m fairly certain that good books make the horrendous journey go quicker.


Like a 21st Century female Bukowski, Salena Godden delivers her message like a shot of gasoline, straight up with no mixer. 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.
‘Fishing In The Aftermath – Poems 1994-2014’ features over eighty poems and marks twenty years of poetry and performance, the majority of the work included here is previously unpublished in book form.
For two decades Salena Godden has topped the bill at literary events and festivals internationally. She is currently on Radio 4 as a contributor to this weeks BBC documentary of the week ‘The History Of The N-Word’ – She also works alongside award-winning radio producer Rebecca Maxted. Their latest music doc ‘Try A Little Tenderness – The Lost Legacy of Little Miss Cornshucks’ was broadcast throughout May 2014. Catch Salena Godden performing live at Latitude Festival, Port Eliot, The Green Gathering and Festival No.6…

Salena’s poetry is frank and hilarious, and having seen her in person, I can hear her reading. Publishing her first collection twenty years into her career is a fairly impressive feat, and means that the collection never falters, it’s just ALL good. I love that it’s dedicated to “the good cock”, which was my favourite of the poems she performed at Neu! Reekie!, and I genuinely can’t choose a favourite poem, because they’re all honestly amazing. The hilarious anger of not being leant a pen by an air stewardess in A Letter to an Air Stewardess Found in the the Back of Seat 67a, the quiet of Cabbages Violet and Green in Vases, and the absolute truth of Twat (“If you’d like a poet/ to writeabout you/ be a twat./ And if you want a poem/ written all about you/ be a twat to a poet.”) are highlights. She also performed I Want Love when I saw her, and it’s just as good written down, and, after finishing the book, sitting on the Megabus, all I could think was imagine if you had to lick it! Thanks, Salena.

Burning Eye have decided to bring forward Salena’s publication date, so her book is now out on July 3rd, and you can pre-order it directly HERE.

Disclaimer: I was sent Salena Godden’s poetry collection to review, but as ever, all views, opinions, and writing are my own!


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