Date/Time Event
Tuesday, 20th February
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Flâneuse - the wandering woman, with Lauren Elkin **This event is now fully booked**
FlaneuseIf the word flâneur conjures up visions of Baudelaire, boulevards and bohemia – then what exactly is a flâneuse?
Lauren Elkin defines her as ‘a determined resourceful woman keenly attuned to the creative potential of the city, and the liberating possibilities of a good walk’. Part cultural meander, part memoir, Flâneuse traces the relationship between the city and creativity through a journey that begins in New York and moves to Paris, via Venice, Tokyo and London, exploring the paths taken by the flâneuses who have lived and walked in those cities.

From nineteenth-century novelist George Sand to artist Sophie Calle, from war correspondent Martha Gellhorn to film-maker Agnes Varda, Lauren considers what is at stake when a certain kind of light-footed woman encounters the city and changes her life, one step at a time.

Booking is now closed as the event is fully booked.

Please reserve your place via

Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Thursday, 22nd February
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Five Leaves Book Group: Women & Power by Mary Beard - Fully Booked, thank you

This was one of our best-sellers last year, as it was at Waterstones and elsewhere. Mary Beard sure knows how to combat sexism:

Why the popular resonance of ‘mansplaining’ (despite the intense dislike of the term felt by many men)? It hits home for us because it points straight to what it feels like not to be taken seriously: a bit like when I get lectured on Roman history on Twitter.

Britain’s best-known classicist Mary Beard, is also a committed feminist. With wry wit, she revisits the gender agenda and shows how history has treated powerful women. Her examples range from the classical world to the modern day, from Medusa and Athena to Theresa May and Hillary Clinton. Beard explores the cultural underpinnings of misogyny, considering the public voice of women, our cultural assumptions about women’s relationship with power, and how powerful women resist being packaged into a male template.

With personal reflections on her own experiences of the sexism and gendered aggression she has endured online, Mary asks: if women aren’t perceived to be within the structures of power, isn’t it power that we need to redefine?

Free, refreshments provided

Please let us know you are coming on

Five Leaves Bookshop is open – you don’t have to come every time. There’s usually a short introduction then everyone else weighs in. You don’t need to get the book from us, but we offer 15% discount leading up to the meeting.women and power

Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Monday, 26th February
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Hideo Furukawa and Tomoyuki Hoshino - Japan Now

Slow BoatExplore contemporary Japan in all its thrilling complexity with two dynamic novelists, Hideo Furukawa and Tomoyuki Hoshino. Furukawa pays homage to Haruki Murakami in his book Slow Boat, a circular, mesmeric narrative of a young man attempting to escape Tokyo and the lovers who pursue himTomoyuki Hoshino is a novelist who goes where others fear to tread, exploring sexual identity, neoliberalism and power structures in Japanese society in earlier books including We The Children Of Cats and his latest work – ME: A Novel. The authors will read and discuss their work and sign books after the event.




Programmed by Modern Culture in partnership with the Japan Foundation and Sheffield University.
Supported by Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation and the Japan Society
Tickets £3 including refreshments


Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Wednesday, 28th February
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
The Boy with the Perpetual Nervousness, with Graham Caveney, in conversation with Deirdre O'Byrne
grahamThe Boy With the Perpetual Nervousness recounts with courage and candour how, in the 1970s, as the clever, awkward, nerdy, only child of devoutly Catholic parents in Accrington, Lancashire, the author was groomed by a priest at his local grammar school. This is a memoir of working class life, of betrayal, and the effects of that betrayal.
Venue: Middle Street Resource Centre, Middle St, Beeston, Nottingham NG9 2AR (by the tram route)
Free, refreshments provided
Let us know you are coming on
Venue: Middle Street Resource Centre, Beeston Nottinghamshire
Thursday, 1st March
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Urn & Drum, poetry book launch with Lila Matsumoto, supported by Vicky Sparrow


Please join us for the launch of Lila Matsumoto’s new collection of poetry from Shearsman Books, Urn & Drum. Lila will be joined by poet Vicky Sparrow.

“The world within Urn & Drum is a cornucopia of shapes, colours, and objects, fashioned almost as a gleeful, surreal picture-book; a playful naivety that leads to serious questions of what it means to exist and feel in the world. Through linguistic dexterity and play, [these poems] exclaim heartbreak and test the limits of language in a single line.” —Rachael Allen
“In exquisite rituals of embodied and object orientated writing, Lila Matsumoto’s breath-taking new collection of poetry combines lightness of expression with a thrilling complexity of thought and emotion. There is joy and jouissance in this collection in abundance.” —Colin Herd
Lila Matsumoto was born in Japan and grew up in the US. She has lived in the UK since 2007, and currently teaches poetry at the University of Nottingham. Lila co-runs Front Horse, a magazine and performance night of poetry, music, and art, and convenes the Nottingham Poetry Exchange. Urn and Drum is her first full collection of poetry.
Vicky Sparrow’s poems can be found in Front Horse, Intercapillary Space, datableed and Litmus; her first pamphlet Notes to Selves was published by Zarf Editions last year. She lives in Nottingham and is completing a PhD on the poet-activist Anna Mendelssohn.

Free, refreshments provided

Please let us know you are coming on


Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Tuesday, 6th March
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Celtic vs. Rangers, with Alan Bairner

What are the origins of the less-than-friendly rivalry between the two major football teams in Scotland? Why does this run down the generations, and into the Scottish diaspora? And could their matches ever be just about football?

celticPrior to Alan Bairner’s arrival in Loughborough in 2003, where he is Professor of Sport and Social Theory, he was Professor in Sport Studies at the University of Ulster where he worked for twenty-five years. Alan was the only educationalist who worked in both the Republican and Loyalist prisons.

He is the author of Sport, Nationalism, and Globalization. Europe and North American Perspectives and co-author (with John Sugden) of Sport, Sectarianism and Society in a Divided Ireland. He edited Sport and the Irish. Histories, Identities, Issues and is joint editor of Sport in Divided SocietiesThe Bountiful Game? Football Identities and Finances and The Politics of the Olympics. A Survey .

In association with Nottingham Irish Studies Group

Tickets £3.00 including refreshments. Please let us know you are coming on fiveleaves.bookshopevents@gmail.comairner

Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Thursday, 8th March
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Death of the King, poetry from Miriam Neiger-Fleischmann and translator Anthony Rudolf

Miriam Nieger-Fleischmann and Tony Rudolf have been working on these translations off and on for thirty years. The author is a poet writing in Hebrew and a scholar and painter. Tony Rudolf ran Menard Press for forty years and introduced Primo Levi to an English market for the first time.

This event is a contribution to Jewish Book Week

Tickets: £3, including refreshments

Please let us know you are coming on

Death of king

Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Saturday, 10th March
11:00 am - 4:30 pm
States of Independence

This will be the ninth States of Independence, celebrating independent publishing, independent writing and independent thinking held in conjunction with the creative writing team at De Montfort University.

We usually have about two dozen events over the day and two dozen bookstalls from small publishers from around the region.

The whole day is free and unticketed. Come for an hour or come for the whole day.

The full progamme will be available later.

Venue: De Montford University, Leicester
Wednesday, 14th March
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Is Monogamy Dead? with Rosie Wilby

“No, being gay was not the problem. The monster yapping at the heels of my happiness was called monogamy. Nobody warned me about monogamy.  Nobody told me that by the time I was forty , I would have had four serious relationships… great. Oh, and four, gut wrenching serious breakups. Not so great. … No wonder I sought out a career where I would habitually get two rounds of applause.”

Rosie Wilby is a comedian, and her book Is Monogamy Dead? naturally includes humour, but also heartache and a bit of science as she explores that relationship thing. This event is suitable for LGBT people, straight people, and all stops in between.

Award-winning comedian Rosie Wilby has appeared on BBC Radio 4’s Loose Ends, Summer Nights, Four Thought, Midweek, The Human Zoo and Woman’s Hour and at festivals including Glastonbury, Secret Garden Party, Green Man, Larmer Tree and Latitude. She was a finalist at Funny Women 2006 and Leicester Mercury Comedian of the Year 2007 and she’s been touring acclaimed solo shows internationally ever since.

Her writing has been published in The Sunday Times, The Guardian and  The Independent. Her first book Is Monogamy Dead? follows her TEDx talk of the same name and Radio 4 piece A New Currency of Commitment.

Is Monogamy Dead? has been shortlisted in the Memoir category alongside Susan Calman and Juliet Jacques for the Diva Literary Awards.Wilby

Rosie co-hosts Radio Diva on Resonance FM alongside Heather Peace every Tuesday and has presented for BBC Sussex and Surrey.

Tickets: £4, including refreshments

Reservations are strongly encouraged on

Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Thursday, 15th March
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Poetry from Nisha Ramayya, Robert Kiely, and Matvei Yankelvitch
march15 reading new (1)Nottingham Poetry Exchange presents a fantastic lineup of three visiting poets from London and New York.
Nisha Ramayya is a poet and academic based in London. Working across various practices and forms – translation, performance, mythology and ritual – she tests the possibilities of a Tantric poetics. Her poetry pamphlets, Notes on Sanskrit and Correspondances are published by Oystercatcher Press. Nisha currently works as a Visiting Lecturer in English at Royal Holloway and the University of Kent.
 Robert Kiely is an Irish writer and poet from Co. Cork, currently living in London. He is the author of How to Read (Crater Press), Killing the Cop in Your Head (Sad Press), and Fionn (Contraband Books). His latest work can be found in Big Echo and Sure Hope.
Matvei Yankelevich is the author of the novel in fragments Boris by the Sea (2009), the collection Alpha Donut: The Selected Shorter Works of Matvei Yankelevich (2012), and the long poem sequence Some Worlds for Dr. Vogt (2016). He is highly regarded as a translator from Russian; his translations of Daniil Kharms were collected in Today I Wrote Nothing: The Selected Writings of Daniil Kharms (2007). Matvei is a cofounder and co-executive director of Ugly Duckling Presse, where he edits books, curates the Eastern European Poets Series, and edits the press’s magazine 6×6. He lives in Brooklyn.
Tickets: £3.00, including refreshments
Please reserve your place on fiveleaves.bookshopevents@gmail.compoetry exchange 3poetry exchange 2

poetry exchange 1


Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Sunday, 18th March
4:30 pm - 6:00 pm
Tea, cake and William Morris, with Florence Boos


This illustrated talk will describe William Morris’s socialist beliefs and activities, illustrated with images from the period.

We will also have afternoon tea – socialist style – to launch the new Five Leaves’ edition of William Morris’s Socialist Diary, with Florence Boos of the North American William Morris Society.

William Morris was the most prominent Victorian artist to embrace the new socialist movement of the 1880s. From 1883 to 1890, he continued to maintain Morris and Co., but devoted most of this period to the cause of socialism. He made strenuous propaganda tours; wrote socialist songs, poems, novels and a play; edited and wrote for the socialist newspaper Commonweal after 1885; and led, from 1885 to 1890, one of England’s two major socialist organisations, the Socialist League.
 Morris’s Socialist Diary of 1887 is one of the most interesting writings from this period of his work. It is one of only two extended diaries of his activities which he kept in his life, each of which represents an effort to record and analyse experiences of a new phase of his work and thought.


William Morris SocIn association with the William Morris Society.

Florence will also be speaking in London on 23rd and 24th, at Kelmscott House and the William Morris Gallery respectively. Ask us for details

Free, refreshments provided

Let us know you are coming on

Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Tuesday, 20th March
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Five Leaves' Book Group discusses The Magic Toyshop by Angela Carter
magic toyshop
‘This crazy world whirled about her, men and women dwarfed by toys and puppets, where even the birds were mechanical and the few human figures went masked …She was in the night again, and the doll was herself’ One night Melanie walks through the garden in her mother’s wedding dress. The next morning her world is shattered. Forced to leave her rural home, she is sent to London to live with relatives she has never met: gentle Aunt Margaret, mute since her wedding day; and her brothers, Francie, whose graceful music belies his clumsy nature, and the volatile Finn. Brooding over all is Uncle Philip, who loves only the puppets he creates in his workshop, which are life-sized – and uncannily life-like.
Part of Nottingham Puppet Festival
We don’t mind where you obtain the book, as long as you read it in advance, but we offer 15% off our book group books. Our monthly book group is open and no regular commitment is required.
Free, refreshments provided
Please let us know you are coming on
Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Wednesday, 21st March
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
60 Years of CND, Britain's most enduring mass movement, with Kate Hudson

Did you march at Aldermaston… spy for peace… sit down with the Committee of 100… see The War Game… join the Nottingham Peace Trains against cruise missiles… go to Greenham, Molesworth, Lakenheath peace camp… debate END/CND or just NND (Nottingham for Nuclear Disarmament)… ? Do you recall EP Thompson telling us ’Now, looking at you, I know one thing, we can win, we can win, I want you to sense your own strength’… or are you younger, and marched with CND over Iraq? Do you fear the rocket men? Did you wear the badge?

Kate Hudson is general secretary of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. In this talk she will revisit the past, the highs and lows of the campaign which, singularly and in alliance, gave itself the small task of saving the world from the Dr Strangeloves and, now,  the Donald Trumps.

Kate is the author of CND at 60 which provides detailed coverage of the inside story of six decades of CND – from the mass protests at Aldermaston and Greenham Common, to its central role in post 9/11 anti-war campaigning, to today’s struggle to prevent Trident replacement and win support for the United Nations’ new global ban on nuclear weapons.

Tickets: £3.00 including refreshments

Note – date to be confirmed

Please reserve your place via fiveleaves.bookshopevents@gmail.comclouseau

Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Thursday, 22nd March
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Ian Saville's Magic for Socialism

For more than 30 years, Ian Saville has been presenting his Marxist Magic and ventriloquism.

Whereas David Copperfield is content with little tricks like making the Statue of Liberty disappear, Ian Saville aims at the much more ambitious goal of making International Capitalism and exploitation disappear. True, he hasn’t quite succeeded, but he keeps on trying.

This is a funny, magical, thought-provoking and topical celebration of Socialism.

Being part of a puppet festival… we’ll show you who pulls the strings

Here’s Ian:

Tickets are £5 including a gottle of gear
Booking essential at
Suitable for 14+ (not a puppet event for children)
Part of Nottingham Puppet Festival
Note the change of date – this is the correct date (and is the one that appears in the Puppet Festival programme)
Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Tuesday, 27th March
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Byron's women, with Miranda Seymour

In 1815, the clever, courted and cherished Annabella Milbanke married the notorious Lord Byron. Just one year later, she fled, taking with her their baby daughter, the future Ada Lovelace. Byron himself escaped into exile and died as a revolutionary hero in 1824, aged 36.  The one thing he had asked his wife to do was to make sure that their daughter never became a poet.

Ada didn’t. Brought up by a mother who became one of the most progressive reformers of Victorian England, Byron’s daughter was introduced to mathematics as a means of calming her wild spirits. Educated by some of the most learned minds in England, she combined that scholarly discipline with a rebellious heart and a visionary imagination.

As a child invalid, Ada dreamed of building a steam-driven flying horse. As an exuberant and unconventional young woman, she amplified her explanations of Charles Babbage’s unbuilt calculating engine to predict, as nobody would do for another century, the dawn today of our modern computer age. When Ada died – like her father, she was only 36 – great things seemed still to lie ahead for her as a passionate astronomer. Even while mired in debt from gambling and crippled by cancer, she was frenetically employing Faraday’s experiments with light refraction to explore the analysis of distant stars.

Seymour reveals the ways in which Byron, long after his death, continued to shape the lives and reputations both of his wife and his daughter. During her life, Lady Byron was praised as a paragon of virtue; within ten years of her death, she was vilified as a disgrace to her sex. Well over a hundred years later, Annabella Milbanke is still perceived as a prudish wife and cruelly controlling mother. But her hidden devotion to Byron and her tender ambitions for his mercurial, brilliant daughter reveal a deeply complex but unsuspectedly sympathetic personality.

Miranda Seymour has written a portrait of two remarkable women, revealing how two turbulent lives were often governed and always haunted by the dangerously enchanting, quicksilver spirit of that extraordinary father whom Ada never knew.

Free, refreshments included

Booking absoulely essential on fiveleaves.bookshopevents@gmail.combyron's women

Unfortunately this venue, an historic building, does not have wheelchair access and has many stairs.

Venue: Bromley House Library, Nottingham
Wednesday, 28th March
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Rise, how young people learned to love politics and vote for Jeremy Corbyn, with Liam Young

Liam Young started campaigning for Jeremy Corbyn in the 2015 leadership election and didn’t look back. Whilst studying at the London School of Economics he wrote for the Independent and the New Statesman and served as one of few voices in the media that stuck with Corbyn. Doing so earned me the title of “Corbyn’s biggest fanboy” from the far-right blog, Guido Fawkes. He now works for one of the unlikely winners in the general election, the Labour MP for Kensington and Chelsea (whose constituency covers Grenfell), Emma Dent Coad.

While many commentators questioned Corbyn’s actions, Young wrote about how his policies would work and be popular. He harnessed the power of social media and has emerged as one of the most influential Labour supporters of his generation. When the general election results of 2017 came through, he was not surprised by the surge in support for Corbyn’s Labour.


His book, Risecovers how the youth movement in the Labour Party galvanised a nation that will appeal to readers of Owen Jones and Paul Mason, but it is also a manifesto for the future and a call to action for anyone who believes it should be possible to create a better Britain.

Free, no ticket required. Licenced premises. All welcome. Note the venue.

In association with West Bridgford Labour Party

(Note – this picture came up when we Googled Jeremy Corbyn and the youth vote, so we are using it!)

Venue: Poppy and Pint, West Bridford
Monday, 9th April
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Hope Lies in the Proles, George Orwell and the Left with John Newsinger

George Orwell was and is a controversial figure for the left – everyone wants to claim him or reject him.  Anti-fascist, supportive of civil liberties, close to the anarchism movement, anti-Communist with romantic. realistic or patronising attitudes to the working class (delete as applicable)….  John Newsinger gives a sympathetic but not uncritical account of Orwell’s political thinking and its continued signficance today.

He also explores Orwell’s ambivalent relationship with the Labour Party, his shifting views on the USA and his influence on the New Left and feminism.

John Newsinger is Professor of Modern History at Bath Spa, and author of a dozen books on the Empire, on 1917 and the Irish Labour Movement.

Tickets: £3, including refreshments

Please reserve your place on


Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Tuesday, 17th April
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
The One Who Wrote Destiny with Nikesh Shukla

Nikesh-ShuklaNikesh joins us to discuss his third novel, The One Who Wrote Destiny which is in part based on true stories from Nikesh’s family history. The novel charts 3 generations from the 1960′s to the present day.
Nikesh Shukla is a writer and social commentator. He is the editor of the essay collection, The Good Immigrant.

Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Wednesday, 18th April
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
"Culture is Ordinary" - remembering Raymond Williams, with Sharon Clancy and Derek Tatton

Raymond Williams has been described as working in the interstices of inter-disciplinarity, the “intellectual ‘border country’”, grappling with the complexities of modernity and the place of language, culture and education within it. The challenge for him was RWpaintingof bringing together his own  formative experience in the South Wales coalfields, and his subsequent period as a student and as a lecturer, at Cambridge University, which he found both exhilarating and frustratingly narrow in its concept of culture. Both experiences were a spur to his work in developing Cultural Studies, which saw a coming together of a range of disciplines – including history, sociology and literature –  to explore human experience, for all people, and not only an elite.

Sharon Clancy and Derek Tatton will argue that Williams acted as a public intellectual for a mid-to-late twentieth century audience and that re-examining his approach to culture is vital at this juncture in British history as a means of reclaiming participatory democracy and shared cultural understanding.

Dr Sharon Clancy is a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Nottingham in Adult Education and  Chair of the Raymond Williams Foundation. She was Head of Community Engagement at the University of Nottingham between 2007 and 2013 and was head of Mansfield Council for Voluntary Services for seven years prior to that.

Dr Derek Tatton is the former Raymond Williams Foundation Administrator and is former Chair of the Raymond Williams Society. He was Principal of Wedgwood Memorial College, one of the pioneering post-war residential colleges up to his retirement in 2003. Derek’s PhD, supervised by Williams himself, explored the tension between political commitment and academic neutrality within the WEA.

Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Thursday, 19th April
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Striking Women, from Grunwick to Gate Gourmet, with Sundari Anitha & Ruth Pearson

Striking Women is centred on two industrial disputes, the Grunwick strike of the 70s and the Gate Gourmet dispute of 2005. Both involved large numbers of South Asiam women – 32 of whom were interviewed for this book, about politics, the history of migration and settlement from South Asia and how South Asian women have engaged with the labour market and labour movement.

Sundari Anitha and Ruth Pearson have researched and written on the labour market experience of South Asian women, on violence against women in the UK and India and about migrant workers and the gender impact of globalisation.

Tickets:  £3, including refreshments

striking women

Booking essential via

Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
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