Guest writer: Salena Godden

Thursday 6th April, 5.30pm

MILC, Amphitheatre (ground floor), 35 Rue Raulin, 69007 Lyon

A reading and conversation, followed by a book sale and book signing

Salena Godden FRSL is an award-winning author, poet and broadcaster of Jamaican-mixed heritage based in London. In 2021 Canongate published her highly acclaimed debut novel Mrs Death Misses Death. It won The Indie Book Award for fiction and was the winner of The Peoples Book Prize 2022. It was also shortlisted for The British Book Awards; The Bad Form Magazine Book Of The Year shortlist and The Gordon Burn Prize. Film and TV rights to this debut novel have been taken by Idris Elba and Green Door Pictures. 

Currently Godden is working on three new books for Canongate: a memoir, a poetry collection and an eagerly anticipated second novel set in the Mrs Death Misses Death universe – all three books are due for publication in 2024 and 2025.

A new edition of Pessimism is for Lightweights – 30 Pieces of Courage and Resistance was published by Rough Trade Books in February 2023. This hardback edition features revised and new material, an introduction by John Higgs, an Old English translation of the title poem by Emily Cotman and design and artwork by Craig Oldham. 

Salena Godden’s work has been widely anthologised and broadcast on BBC radio, TV and film. Her many credits include her contribution to the BAFTA award-winning Life and Rhymes hosted by Benjamin Zephaniah and co-starring in award-winning indie anti-rom-com movie Brakes. She also regularly co-hosts an arts and culture radio show Roaring 20’s Radio for Soho Radio with art journalist Amah Rose Abrams and poet Matt Abbott. 

Her essay Shade was published in groundbreaking anthology The Good Immigrant (Unbound). A short-story Blue Cornflowers was shortlisted for the 4th Estate and Guardian short story prize. Godden has had several volumes of poetry published including Under The Pier (Nasty Little Press) Fishing in the Aftermath: Poems 1994-2014 (Burning Eye Books) Pessimism is for Lightweights – 13 Pieces of Courage and Resistance (Rough Trade Books) plus also a literary childhood memoir, Springfield Road (Unbound). She has produced four studio albums to date – her solo poetry album LIVEwire (Nymphs and Thugs) was shortlisted for The Ted Hughes Prize. Her poem Pessimism is for Lightweights is on permanent display at The Peoples History Museum, Manchester.

The Royal Society of Literature elected Godden as fellow FRSL in November 2020, she was inducted in July 2022. 

This year she is becoming a patron of Hastings Book Festival and a Fellow of West Dean in the summer of 2023.