Date/Time Event
Tuesday, 27th March
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Byron's women, with Miranda Seymour - FULLY BOOKED, SORRY

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
Friday, 20th April - Sunday, 29th April
All Day
Nottingham Poetry Festival 20-29 April

Simply advance warning of the dates! Various venues all over town. Guest readers/community events.

Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Sunday, 22nd April
4:30 pm - 6:00 pm
The Poetry Pharmacy Tried-and-True Prescriptions for the Heart, Mind and Soul with William Sieghart

Sometimes only a poem will do. These poetic prescriptions and wise words of advice offer comfort, delight and inspiration for all; a space for reflection, and that precious realization – “I’m not the only one who feels like this”.

In the years since he first had the idea of prescribing short, powerful poems for all manner of spiritual ailments, William Sieghart has taken his Poetry Pharmacy around the length and breadth of Britain, into the pages of the Guardian, onto BBC Radio 4 and onto the television, honing his prescriptions all the time. Here he will present the most essential poems in his dispensary: those which, again and again, have shown themselves to work. Whether you are suffering from loneliness, lack of courage, heartbreak, hopelessness, or even from an excess of ego, there is something here to ease your pain.

There will be time for “poetry on prescription” where William will prescribe poems for individuals (but only in public, as we don’t have a private surgery room!)

Tickets: £6/£5 concessions. Booking is essential. A discount on Poetry Pharmacy will be available, and light refreshments provided. Book over the counter or ring the bookshop on 0115 8373097.

This event is part of Nottingham Poetry Festivalpoetry pharmacy

Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Monday, 23rd April
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
A Party with Socialists In It, with Simon Hannah

For more than a hundred years, the British Labour Party has been the home of working-class organization and struggle. But has it ever truly been on the side of workers? Where do its interests really lie, and can it be relied on to provide a check on right-wing forces?
In A Party with Socialists in It, Simon Hannah addresses those questions and more, tellingparty socialistthe story of the Labour Party from its origins to today, showing how at every turn it has struggled with the tension between the rights and demands of workers and a more centrist position. As Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership attempts to revitalize the party after the initial success of the Blair years turned into disappointment and disenchantment, this clear-eyed history could not be more timely.

Simon Hannah is a writer and political activist. He is the co-author of Beyond Capitalism? The Future of Radical Politics (Zero Books). His work has been featured in Open Democracy and New Left Project, and he is an active member of Momentum and the Labour Party.

Tickets: £3.00, including refreshments. Please reserve your place at

Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Tuesday, 24th April
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Carcanet Press New Poetries, with Rebecca Cullen, Rachel Mann, Isabel Galleymore and Katherine Horrex

From the first New Poetries anthology, published in 1994, through to this seventh volume, the series showcases the work of some of the most engaging and inventive new poets writing in English from around the world. Many have gone on to achieve notable success: Sophie Hannah, Patrick McGuinness, Kei Miller, Caroline Bird, David Morley, Jane Yeh, William Letford, Tara Bergin, and Vahni Capildeo among them. Crucially, the New Poetries anthologies have never sought to identify a `school’, much less a `generation’: the poets included employ a wide range of styles, forms and approaches, and `new’ need not be taken to imply `young’.

New poetriesTonight Rebecca Cullen, Rachel Mann, Isabel Galleymore and Katherine Horrex all read their poems published in the anthology as part of the New Poetries VII UK tour. Rebecca – Becky – is a regular customer of ours and is well known on the local poetry scene, not least for jointly organising the Wired poetry series.

£4.00, including refreshments. Please let us know you are coming on

This reading is part of Nottingham Poetry Festival

Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Thursday, 26th April
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Black British graduates, untold stories, with Amanda Arbouin

Ten British graduates of African-Caribbean heritage review their school and post-school education and their careers. They relate how they navigated the obstructions (and micoraggressions) encountered while pursuing academic qualifications and discuss their choices of employment. This session will be of particular value to Black graduates and undergraduates, and those responsible for teaching.

black britishAmanda Arbouin is Senior Lecturer in Education Studies at the Nottingham Institute for Education and is the author of Black British Graduates.  She has undertaken project management, research and consultancy for organisations including Jamaica National Children’s Home and University of Nottingham.

Free, refreshments provided

Booking essential on

Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Monday, 30th April
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Five Leaves Book Group: Why I'm no longer talking to white people about race, by Reni Eddo-Lodge

The title of what was originally a blog entry alone caused a sensation and went viral. The blog entry became a book, perhaps one of the most important books published in 2017. Eddo-Lodge offers a different framework for how to see, acknowledge and respond to racism.

Why I Am No Longer Talking to White People about Race is only in hardback at the time of this post but comes out in paperback on 8/3/18. As always – though you can source the books wherever you like – we offer 15% off book club books in the period leading up to the discussion (whether you come or not!).

Free, refreshments provided

Do let us know you are coming on fiveleaves.bookshopevents@gmail.commrACE


Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Thursday, 3rd May
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
A Hero for High Times: a Guide to the Beats, Hippies, Freaks, Punks, Ravers, New-Age Travellers and Dog-on-a-Rope Brew Crew Crusties of the British Isles, 1956–1994, with Ian Marchant

Ian MerchantIan Marchant wins – something – for our longest ever event title. And that title, dear reader, tells you everything this illustrated talk is about.

Ian Marchant is originally from Newhaven in East Sussex, and now lives with his family in the no longer extant Welsh county of Radnorshire. He has published seven books, including the travel/memoirs Parallel LinesThe Longest Crawl and Something of the Night. He is a sometimes presenter of documentaries for BBC Radio, and has appeared numerous times at festivals (including Glastonbury, Secret Garden Party and Wilderness) as one half of semi-legendary hippie cabaret duo ‘Your Dad.’

Tickets: £4, including refreshments

Reserve your place on


Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Wednesday, 9th May
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Champions of equality: trade unions and LGBT rights in Britain, with Peter Purton

cwuThere is a big hole in the history of the LGBT movement in Britain. Each step towards equality for LGBT people, every positive move in public opinion, was the result of campaigning. But while individuals and lobby groups loudly promote their role in the victories, one major player has been written out of this history: the unions. This book fills the gap.

From the first strike action organised by trade union members to save the job of a victimised gay colleague in the 1970s, through the mutual solidarity of Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners, to the Trades Union Congress taking the initiative to save London Pride in 2012, and much more, trade unions have contributed immensely to the successes achieved, all the while protecting jobs and securing equality for thousands of LGBT working people.

Peter Purton was the TUC’s first LGBT officer. His book, of interest to everyone interested in equality and trade union history, reveals how LGBT trade union members organised to win recognition, then support, and how trade unions supported the struggles of LGBT communities in Britain and across the world.

This is an inspiring tale, and in the dangerous world of the twenty-first century, it is a warning call to the LGBT community and those supporting it, to wake up to new threats, to remember how past victories were achieved. The labour movement has much potential as an active participant in the unfinished fight for equality, but this book shows the need for mutual engagement to make change possible.

Tickets: £3 including refreshments

Booking essential on

Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Thursday, 10th May
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
May Made Me: an oral history of the 68 uprising in France, with Mitchell Abidor

The mass protests that shook France in May 1968 were exciting, dangerous, creative and influential, changing European politics to this day. Students demonstrated, workers went on general strike, factories and universities were occupied. At the height of its fervour, it brought the entire national economy to a halt. The protests reached such a point that political leaders feared civil war or revolution.

Fifty years later, here are the eye-opening oral testimonies of those young rebels. By listening to the voices of students and workers, as opposed to that of their leaders, May ’68 appears not just as a mass event, but rather as an event driven by millions of individuals, achieving a mosaic human portrait of France at the time.

This book reveals the legacy of the uprising: how those explosive experiences changed both those who took part, and the course of history. May Made Me will record these moments before history moves on yet again.

Mitchell Abidor is a writer and translator living in Brooklyn, USA. Amongst his many works, he is the author of May Made Me (Pluto, 2018) and the translator of Jean Jaures’s A Socialist History of the French Revolution (Pluto, 2015).

Tickets: £3.00, including refreshments.

Booking essential on

may made me

Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Wednesday, 16th May
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Municipal dreams, the rise and fall of council housing, with John Boughton

A narrative history of council housing—from slums to the Grenfell Tower

Municipal Dreams presents an alternative history of the United Kingdom. This history begins in the slum clearances of the late nineteenth century and the aspirations of those who would build anew. John Boughton looks at how and why the state’s duty to house its people decently became central to our politics.

Traversing the nation, Boughton offers an architectural tour of some of the best and most remarkable of our housing estates, as well as many accounted ordinary; he asks us to understand better their complex story and to rethink our prejudices. His accounts include extraordinary planners and architects who wished to elevate working men and women through design and the politicians, high and low, who shaped their work, the competing ideologies which have promoted state housing and condemned it, the economics which has always constrained our housing ideals, the crisis wrought by Right to Buy, and the evolving controversies around regeneration. He shows how the loss of the dream of good housing for all is a danger for the whole of society—as was seen in the fire in Grenfell Tower.

municipal dreamsJohn Boughton is involved in a number of housing campaigns. His blog is

This event in association with Nottingham and Derby Society of Architects and the 20th Century Society.

Tickets: £3, but free to students

Please let us know you are coming on

Venue: Nottingham Mechanics Institute, Nottingham
Wednesday, 16th May
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Nottingham Poetry Society reading, with Zayneb Allak and Rory Waterman

We are pleased to host this reading organised by Nottingham Poetry Society, part of the NPS relaunch events programme.

nwe-zayneb-allak-cover zayneballakphoto






Zayneb Allak has travelled and worked all over the world, and is currently Lecturer in Creative Writing at Edge Hill University. Keine Angst (New Walk Editions, 2017) is her debut pamphlet. She recently left Nottingham. While here she was well known on the local poetry scene.

Rory Waterman will be reading from his latest Carcanet poetry collection, Sarajevo Roses, together with older and new, unpublished material. Sarajevo Roses is Rory Waterman’s second collection of poems. From the start we are in the company of a poet on the move . On sleeper trains, in cars and on foot, Waterman takes us into Mediterranean Europe, to Venice, to Krujë, to the ghost-town Craco, and to St Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City, where ‘selfie-sticks dance before us at the altar’. Sarajevo’s ‘neatened muddle of terracotta and concrete’ is twinned with the ‘church spires and rain-bright roofs’ of the poet’s former hometown, Lincoln.

The Sarajevo rose of the book’s title  is a mortar crater filled with red resin, in remembrance.  Surrounded by the war-shaped, memorial landscapes of Europe, the poet is faced by those smaller wars and memorials one carries within, marks left by lovers, friends, relations, and past selves.

Tickets: £4, including refreshments

Please let us know you are coming on

Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Thursday, 17th May
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Workers' Movements and Strikes in the 21st Century, a global perpective with Jorg Nowak

While workers’ movements have reduced in size and considered out of date in most parts of the world during the 1990s, this century has seen a surge in new and unprecedented forms of strikes and workers organisations.

workers movements

This talk spans countries across global North and South and provides an account of workin

g class resistance in the 21st century. Is there a potential for solidarity among workers in different parts of the world? What has caused the return to strike action, what forms of

organisation are devoloping?

Dr. Jörg Nowak’s current research  focuses on mass strikes in India’s automobile industry and in Brazil’s construction industry in the period between 2011 and 2014. The objective of the project is to analyse the forms of organisation that emerged in these strikes, at times in alliance with

other social movements. His past research included transnational solidarity networks of workers and strategies of German trade unions in against inequality.  He is Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellow in the Faculty of Social Science at the University of Nottingham.

In association with The Centre for the Study of Social and Global Justice (CSSGJ) at the University of Nottingham

Tickets: £3, redeemable against any purchase. Refreshments included.

Let us know you are coming on

Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Tuesday, 22nd May
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
New Walk poetry book launch, with Polly Atkin and Alan Jenkins

Image result for alan jenkins

Alan Jenkins was born in Surrey in 1955 and brought up in London. He won an Eric Gregory Award in 1981 and the Cholmondeley Award in 2006. He has worked for the Times Literary Supplement since 1981, as poetry and fiction editor, then deputy editor. He was also a poetry critic for The Observer and the Independent on Sunday from 1985-1990. His poetry collections include Harm (1994), winner of the Forward Poetry Prize (Best Poetry Collection of the Year); The Drift (2000), a Poetry Book Society Choice, shortlisted for the T. S. Eliot Prize; A Shorter Life (2005), which was shortlisted for the 2005 Forward Poetry Prize for Best Collection; and Revenants (2013).

Image result for polly atkin

Polly Atkin lives in Grasmere. She grew up in Nottingham, then lived in East London for seven years before moving to the North West. She has taught English Literature and Creative Writing at QMUL, Lancaster University, the University of Cumbria, and most recently at the University of Strathclyde. Her debut collection of poetry is Basic Nest Architecture (Seren, 2017).

Polly and Alan will be launching their new pamphlets from New Walk Editions:, edited by Rory Waterman and Nick Everett.


£3.00 including refreshments. Please let us know you are coming on

Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Wednesday, 23rd May
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
酷儿同志 Queer Comrades, with Hongwei Bao

Queer Comrades bok cover_nPlease join us to launch Hongwei Bao’s new book on queer China, the first book to look at gay identity and queer activism in the People’s Republic of China from a cultural studies perpective.

Hongwei Bao’s book is a not just a study of ‘queer China’ through the lens of male homosexuality; it also examines the PRC’s socialist legacy and considers how the country is undergoing rapid transformations under the influence of transnational capitalism.  He examines queer films, fiction and personal diaries as well as research within the urban gay communities of Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.

Hongwei assesses  China’s socialist legacy in shaping sexual identity, queer popular culture and political activism.  His intelligence, engagement and sunny humour shine though his writing.

Dr Hongwei Bao is Assistant Professor in Media Studies at the University of Nottingham, UK. He holds a PhD in Gender and Cultural Studies from the University of Sydney, Australia.

Free, refreshments provided

Please let us know you are coming on

Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
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