Ich Bin Kentishtowner: Salena Godden, poet and performer

‘I wish I owned Kenwood: imagine the weird and wonderful Gatsby parties you could have there’

''. Photo Olivia Rutherford
‘On a Monday I do what all poets do on a Monday, ie as little as possible.’ Photo: Olivia Rutherford
Dartmouth Park-based poet Salena Godden has been described by Kerrang! as “everything the Daily Mail is terrified of”. Topping the bill at literary festivals internationally, she’s just published Fishing In The Aftermath (Poems 1994-2014) to mark twenty years of poetry and performance. A crowd-funded memoir, Springfield Road, follows on September 30. Godden will be performing this summer at Latitude Festival, Port Eliot, The Green Gathering and Festival Number 6.

When were you happiest?
I am happiest when I am up at my favourite magic tree on Hampstead Heath watching the sky, the sun set or the moon rise. I am an official member of the Cloud Appreciation Society, an official cloud botherer.

Where would you like to live?
I wish I owned Kenwood House: imagine the weird and wonderful Gatsby parties you could have there. I love the Heath.

Out in September: Salena's crowd-funded memoir
Out in September: Salena’s crowd-funded memoir
What is your favourite sound or smell?
That first time you smell fresh cut grass and hear the sound of an ice cream van, signs that summer is finally coming. Also old books; the Oxfam bookshop is my favourite place to rummage around for second hand and for vinyl too.

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
Never, never give up.

What makes you unhappy?
Saying goodbye. I hate the end of anything. The end of summer. The end of a party. The end of anything good. I am quite sentimental that way.

What simple thing would improve your quality of life?
A strict sexy secretary who keeps my diary and stops me saying yes to everybody and everything.

What is your most unappealing habit?

What is your guilty pleasure?
Ooh they make the most delicious Old Fashioneds in Aces and Eights.

New collection out this month: Fishing
New collection out this month: Fishing
Where do you hang out?
The Junction Tavern is my favourite local pub, with a lovely garden in the summer, and always brilliant food. The staff are really kind and friendly too.

What’s been your best and worst experience here?
Back in 2005, when there was the bombing and also again in 2011, when there were the London riots, there was a real sense of strong community and of people caring about each other; it’s a great neighbourhood.

Tell us a secret.
All of my secrets seep into my poems somehow and therefore are not very secret at all. Fishing In The Aftermath is 80 poems spanning 20 years of kiss and tell.

What is your favourite dish and why?
I love the green thai curry at Blue Moon on Fortess Road.

What did you do today?
It’s Monday I do what all poets do on a Monday, ie as little as possible. Mondays are for reading to recharge and reload.

Describe yourself as an animal.

To buy her books and for more info on live dates head here.

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