Salena Godden at the Bluecoat

Sarah-Clare Conlon, Literature Editor
WoWFEST - Salena Godden
WoWFEST - Salena Godden

WoWFEST - Salena Godden: Love, Grief, and Fury at Bluecoat, City Centre 11 May 2024 Tickets from £10.00 — Book now

Liverpool’s WoWFest 2024 gets underway on 2 May and rounds off with TS Eliot Prize winner Joelle Taylor reading from The Night Alphabet and chatting about it to Roger Hill on 30 May – in between join Salena Godden as she presents her latest collection, With Love, Grief and Fury.

Three decades since her groundbreaking debut on the UK poetry scene, Salena Godden unveils her boldest and most definitive collection yet With Love, Grief and Fury. Out in May with Canongate, the new collection contains love poems for people and the planet, poems of grief brimming with compassion, and poems of fire and fury that kick some ass. Join her for an intimate evening of readings and captivating conversation, with support from Liverpool-born poet and playwright Paul Birtill.

Salena Godden is an award-winning author, poet and broadcaster of Jamaican-mixed heritage based in London. Her debut novel Mrs Death Misses Death (Canongate, 2021) won the Indie Book Award for Fiction and the People’s Book Prize, and was shortlisted for the British Book Awards and the Gordon Burn Prize. Her work has been shortlisted for the 4thWrite short story prize and the Ted Hughes Prize, and has been widely anthologised and broadcast on radio, TV and film, and she was inducted as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2022. She crowdfunded and published Springfield Road, a memoir of her childhood, with Unbound in 2014.

In addition to this, she has released the poetry collections Fishing In The Aftermath (Burning Eye Books, 2014), Under The Pier (Nasty Little Press, 2011) and Pessimism Is For Lightweights – 13 pieces of Courage and Resistance (Rough Trade Books, 2018). From this, her poem ‘Pessimism is for Lightweights’ became a public poetry art piece and was on display outside the Arnolfini Gallery in Bristol for 18 month – it is now on permanent display at the People’s History Museum in Manchester.

Paul Birtill has published a number of books and pamphlets with Hearing Eye Press, including Collected Poems 1987-2010 and New and Selected Poems, and his most recent poetry collections are Bad News and All’s Well That Ends, both published by Hull’s Wrecking Ball Press. Several of his plays have been staged at London theatres, including Squalor, which was shortlisted for the Verity Bargate Award, and he has published over 300 individual poems in magazines and newspapers.

And if you can’t make it to Liverpool to hear from With Love, Grief and Fury, head to the International Antony Burgess Foundation in Manchester on 7 May for Saleena Godden & Friends, featuring Carcanet poets Rebecca Hurst and Christine Roseeta Walker, presented in assocation with Blackwell’s Bookshop.

WoWFEST - Salena Godden: Love, Grief, and Fury at Bluecoat, City Centre 11 May 2024 Tickets from £10.00 Book now

What's on at Bluecoat

Where to go near Salena Godden at the Bluecoat

Photo of the shop's front window
City Centre
Bluecoat Display Centre

The Bluecoat Display Centre in Liverpool is a contemporary craft shop – and it’s been doing its thing for over 50 years – despite funding cuts and recessions.

Probe Records record shop in Liverpool
City Centre
Probe Records

For more than 40 years, Probe Records has stocked an immense selection of music and provided a hangout for vinyl addicts and musicians alike.

Mamasan Liverpool
City Centre
Mamasan Liverpool

Mamasan is a new three-floor South East Asian inspired restaurant and bar based in Liverpool One. It also has exciting cook-at-home options.

City Centre
Epstein Theatre

The Epstein Theatre in Liverpool, formerly known as the Neptune Theatre, was renamed in honour of The Beatles’ Manager Brian Epstein.


Bacino pizza and cicchetti bring a slice of Naples cuisine to Liverpool. With tasty dishes and lots of drinks options.

What's on: Literature

Culture Guides

Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga
Cinema in Manchester and the North

From the latest installment in the Mad Max franchise, to silent movie masterpieces we highlight the best new releases and big screen classics showing near you this month.