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, The Gordon Burn Prize. Film and TV rights to this unique debut novel have been taken by Idris Elba and Green Door Pictures. Commenting on the deal, Idris Elba said: "Mrs Death Misses Death feels like an instant classic, with an intoxicating story that crosses time and continents. I was immediately drawn to Salena’s writing and am humbled and excited to have the opportunity to bring her brilliant words to life on screen.”
Salena Godden's work has been widely anthologised and broadcast on BBC radio and TV and film. Her essay Shade was published in groundbreaking and award-wining anthology The Good Immigrant (Unbound). A short-story Blue Cornflowers was shortlisted for the 4th Estate and Guardian short story prize. She 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) and 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. The Royal Society of Literature inducted Godden as a fellow FRSL in 2022. She is also a patron of Hastings Book Festival and an Honorary Fellow of West Dean, Sussex.
A new hardback edition of Pessimism is for Lightweights - 30 Pieces of Courage and Resistance is being published in February 2023 by Rough Trade Books. This edition featured revised and new material, an introduction by John Higgs, an Old English translation of the title poem by Emily Cotman. The poem Pessimism is for Lightweights is on permanent display at The Peoples History Museum, Manchester.
Coming next: Salena Godden is currently working on three new books for Canongate: Literary memoir 'Springfield Road - A Poets Childhood Revisited' and a new full poetry collection 'With Love, Grief and Fury', both books will be published in spring 2024. The eagerly anticipated new fiction novel set in the 'Mrs Death Misses Death' universe will be published by Canongate in spring 2025.