Six Questions For…. Salena Godden!


Salena Godden is the headline spoken word act at Rally & Broad: Oh Bondage! Up Yours! on Friday 20th Feb. Tickets:

She is also running our monthly masterclass on Sat 21st Feb. Tickets: 

1: You are well-known as both a poet and performer on the UK spoken word scene, and also well-known for mentoring younger writers and performers who are just starting out. What would be your top two tips for people entering spoken word for the first time?

Find your own voice and listen to your own voice. There is a trend of copy-cat spoken word people now, sadly, not from going to live gigs but from youtube, which is a shame.

Don’t do poetry with a ‘poetry voice’ it is odd, and don’t do poetry with a faked accent or slang either. Trust your own truth, your own voice, hear your own story and tell us your story please!

2: Tell us more about the process of writing your memoir, Springfield Road. What led you towards writing it?

Haha that would take a week to answer, what led me towards writing it? Memory is a trickster, things you hope to remember are lost, things you want to forget are sharp and clear and easy to write….

The process was gruelling. I lived like a monk and instilled a strict routine, writing 4am to 4pm everyday for chunks at a time. That book was written in solitary confinement.

Writing the next book I’ll be a bit kinder to myself.

3: Best gig/ worst gig: spill!

Oh I don’t know… they are all rubbish. I hardly ever like what I do!

When I get home I sob and I pour a pint of whiskey and drain it in one gulp. Then I weep until I pass out. Gigs are horrendous. I hate them.

 4: What is the biggest change you have seen in the UK spoken word scene since you started?

I see a positive change, I see more colour and more diversity; there are more girls too. When I started out I was often the only girl and always the only brown one too.

5: You’ve gigged in Scotland a fair few times. What do you enjoy about coming up here?

I love Scotland. The smell of Edinburgh, when you get off the train, that smell is infectious with mischief. New York and Edinburgh are two cities where I get into the most excellent trouble.

 6: Finally, the theme of Rally & Broad in February is “Oh Bondage! Up Yours!” How will you be interpreting that in your set, if at all?

I love that song and I love Poly and X-Ray Specs – I’ll channel her spirit as much as I can!

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