Nottingham’s independent bookshop | 14a Long Row, Nottingham NG1 2DH | 0115 8373097

Date/Time Event
Wednesday, 21st April
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Rose Robbins

Rose Robbins has been writing and illustrating books since the age of 7, when she got a stapler for her birthday. Her brother is autistic and she teaches autistic young people, so it is no surprise that her first two published picture books (from Scallywag Press) are on the theme of autism. ‘Me and My Sister’ is about a boy who has an autistic sister; told from his point of view it is a child’s eye view of what it’s like to be the responsible sibling, and the highs and lows of having a much-loved but differently-abled sibling. ‘Talking is Not My Thing’ shows how siblings can enjoy life together and communicate even when one is autistic and non-verbal.

For Rose’s latest book, ‘LOUD!’, she turns to the theme of ADHD. When Abigail can’t concentrate in class, she gets bored and is naughty. But just when things are about to go wrong yet again, a teacher discovers exactly what to do to engage this little girl, and Abigail ends up finding a special voice of her very own.

Rose says: “I was inspired to write a book about a ‘naughty’ child finding her voice, and overcoming the expectations of others. I am always moved by devoted caring teachers who somehow manage to get the best out of even the most ‘difficult’ children, and I wanted to make a story with this sort of empathetic relationship at its heart. Abigail may be a disruptive child, but she has potential just like any other. I want children to feel that they can express themselves and be heard, even by grown-ups!”

The book also features an outstanding, visibly disabled teacher.

Rose will read extracts from her books and discuss the representation of autism and ADHD in children’s books with Deirdre O’Byrne. She will also answer questions from the audience.

Free. Book via Eventbriteyou will have the option of buying a copy of any of Rose’s books to be sent to you P&P free (UK only)

Thursday, 22nd April
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Autism: Katherine May / Rhiannon Lloyd-Williams

Katherine May (memoir/fiction) and Rhiannon Lloyd-Williams (poet/playwright) read from their writing and talk about how their autism has influenced their work, and how they’ve chosen to write about autism.

Katherine May is a New York Times bestselling author, whose titles include ‘Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times’ and ‘The Electricity of Every Living Thing’, her memoir of being autistic. Her fiction includes ‘The Whitstable High Tide Swimming Club’ and ‘Burning Out’. She is also the editor of ‘The Best, Most Awful Job’, an anthology of essays about motherhood. Her journalism and essays have appeared in a range of publications including ‘The New York Times’, ‘The Observer’ and ‘Aeon’.

Rhiannon Lloyd-Williams began writing about autism in 2016 after receiving an autism diagnosis in her thirties. She uses her skills as a writer to share her experience of autism in new and illuminating ways, utilising a multitude of communication methods, from poetry to public speaking. Since then she has started her own theatre company, Autact Theatre CIC, who toured her play ‘The Duck: A glimpse into one autistic woman’s world’. She also delivers training workshops and talks on a range of topics surrounding autism, such as autism in women, health and wellbeing, supporting autistic people in the workplace, creativity and the value of a diagnosis.

In partnership with Autistic Nottingham, with Lottery funding from Arts Council England

This event will have BSL interpretation provided

Ticket options (book via Eventbrite)

£3 (event only)
£8.50 including a copy of ‘The Electricity of Every Living Thing’
£9.50 including a copy of ‘Wintering’
£18 including copies of both books.

Much as it pains us to link to a certain company, Rhiannon Lloyd-Williams’ The Duck and other poems is available as a Kindle ebook.

Friday, 30th April
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Out of the Cage: The Art of Isabel Rawsthorne, with Carol Jacobi (online)

Harriet Olsen of Eiderdown Books interviews Carol Jacobi about her book: Out of the Cage: The Art of Isabel Rawsthorne.

Isabel Rawsthorne’s painting career at the centre of the Parisian and London avant-gardes was eclipsed by the many occasions on which her friends made her the subject of their art, notably Epstein, Derain, Giacometti, Picasso and Bacon. This pioneering painter exhibited from the early 1930s, was influential in the 1940s and well known in the 1960s, but in her later years Giacometti’s and Bacon’s blockbuster biographies made her famous as a muse. Rawsthorne’s work is now in major collections, and this beautifully illustrated book re-writes the pre- and post-war art history of which she was a part: it is traced through the upheavals of the 20th century and her singular relationships with some of its most fascinating figures.

A decade of research into the period, Rawsthorne’s art and archives, and the memories of friends, has revealed for the first time her role in a rebel group at Liverpool School of Art; success and tragedy in the 1930s when she was studio assistant to Jacob Epstein; her life-long collaborations with Alberto Giacometti; and, after the war, with Francis Bacon and with African Modernism in the 1960s, as well as her exceptional late work. It also tells the full story of her break from art during the Second World War, when she worked for the government in black propaganda.

Dr Carol Jacobi is Curator of British Art 1850-1915 at Tate Britain and also publishes and broadcasts on nineteenth and twentieth-century art. She has taught at Birkbeck College, the Courtauld Institute and elsewhere. Carol’s research takes a social and cultural perspective and aims to challenge and widen canon, focussing on intersections of the arts, for example, and women artists. She has curated exhibitions on Pre-Raphaelite art, Victorian photography and the major exhibition Van Gogh and Britain at Tate. She has written especially about the Pre-Raphaelites, Alberto Giacometti, Isabel Rawsthorne, Francis Bacon and his circle.

There are two ticket types for this event – one is free, and gives you access to the live online event, the other is £25, for this we also send you a copy of the book (RRP £30, hardback, 448 pages) P&P free in the UK.

Register via Eventbrite

Wednesday, 5th May
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Rosie Garland

Tagged “literary hero” by ‘The Skinny’, Rosie writes long and short-form fiction, poetry and sings with post-punk band The March Violets. She also performs twisted cabaret as Rosie Lugosi the Vampire Queen. With a passion for language nurtured by libraries, she started out in spoken word, garnering praise from Apples and Snakes as “one of the country’s finest performance poets”.

She has published three novels to critical acclaim: ‘The Palace of Curiosities’, nominated for both the Desmond Elliott and the Polari First Book Prize; ‘Vixen’, nominated for the Green Carnation Prize; and ‘The Night Brother’, which ‘The Times’ described as “a delight… with shades of Angela Carter.” This year her latest poetry collection, ‘What Girls Do In The Dark‘, was published by Nine Arches Press.

In 2019 Val McDermid named her “one of the UK’s most compelling LGBT writers today.”

In this event Rosie will read from ‘What Girls Do in the Dark’ and talk to Megan Taylor about her life and writing. She will also answer questions from the audience.

Free. Book via Eventbrite.

Thursday, 6th May
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
This is the BBC Holmes Service, book launch with John Holmes

John Holmes has met, well everyone, during his career at the BBC. Nationally he was involved with Any Questions?, Any Answers?, The Natural History Programme and Down Your Way. He went to  10, Downing Street with Nigel Hawthorne to interview Margaret Thatcher and visited the birthplace of The Goons, Bexhill, with Spike Milligan.

At BBC Radio Nottingham he worked on sport in those halcyon days when Brian Clough and Nottingham Forest were winning the European Cup, Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club were on top with Clive Rice and Richard Hadlee and Torvill and Dean were dominating ice dance.

Special guests on his local show have included Dame Stella Rimington of MI5, Sir Paul Smith, Nobel Prize-winner Sir Peter Mansfield, Dr Stewart Adams, pioneer of Ibruprofen, Lord Falconer and Sir Peter Bazalgette.

In this event he will be in conversation with David Belbin, chair of Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature.

Expect name dropping. Expect celebrity gossip. Expect mention of bands you had forgotten…

Register via Eventbrite

This is the BBC Holmes Service is available to buy from our webshop.


Sunday, 9th May
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Nottingham launch of Lean Fall Stand with Jon McGregor

Jon McGregor is probably Nottinghamshire’s major literary novelist. At this online launch he will be reading from Lean Fall Stand from the room in Bromley House where he started writing the book, followed by a conversation with Deirdre O’Byrne from Five Leaves. There will be the opportunity to ask questions.

Lean Fall Stand is the highly-anticipated new novel from the Costa-award winning, three-times Booker-longlisted author of Reservoir 13. When an Antarctic research expedition goes wrong, the consequences are far-reaching – for the men involved and for their families back home. Robert ‘Doc’ Wright, a veteran of Antarctic field work, holds the clues to what happened, but he is no longer able to communicate them. While Anna, his wife, navigates the sharp contours of her new life as a carer, Robert is forced to learn a whole new way to be in the world.

Jon McGregor returns with a stunning novel that tenderly unpicks the notion of heroism and explores the human impulse to tell our stories – even when words fail us. A meditation on the line between sacrifice and selfishness, this is a story of the courage it can take just to get through the day.

A joint event with Bromley House Library.

Prior to publication we are offering signed and dedicated copies of his new book from our webshop.

This event is free – register via Eventbrite.

Monday, 10th May
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Diversity in Children's Literature 1: history and context, with Michael Rosen, Sanchita Basu De Sarkar and Melanie Ramdarshan Bold

This is the first event in our series on cultural diversity in children’s literature. Michael Rosen, Sanchita Basu De Sarkar and Melanie Ramdarshan Bold discuss how children’s literature has progressed to become more culturally inclusive and diverse than ever before, with publishers like Knights Of, Otter-Barry and Lantana, and bookshops like Letterbox Library and Round Table Books successfully bringing truly representative fiction and non-fiction to children and young adults of all ethnicities and cultures.

Michael Rosen was one of the first poets to visit schools and is committed to the teaching of writing and the reading of literature in schools. He won the 1997 Eleanor Farjeon Award for distinguished services to children’s literature, and received an honorary doctorate in 2005 from the Open University and another from Exeter University in 2007. He was appointed the Children’s Laureate for 2007-2009. Much of his writing is influenced by the Yiddish culture he grew up in.

Sanchita Basu De Sarkar started working at the Children’s Bookshop in Muswell Hill when she left university, and in 2015 she became its owner. She strongly believes in finding the right book for each child, and has written in The Guardian (in 2018) that “The joy of seeing someone who looks like you on a page is huge – but some of us have a hard time finding them.” As an experienced children’s bookseller with a keen interest in culturally diverse books for children, we’ll find out whether she thinks things are changing.

Dr Melanie Ramdarshan Bold teaches and researches children’s and YA literature, literacies, and book culture at Glasgow University. She has published widely on inclusive youth literature; alongside numerous publications about contemporary book culture. She was a judge on the UKYA book prize, and is on the Advisory Boards for the CLPE Reflecting Realities project, the Pop-up Pathways into Children’s Publishing project, and Literature Alliance Scotland.

Although this event is not aimed specifically at an audience of children and young people, they may well find it of interest.

Tickets: £3, register via Eventbrite.

Supported by Lottery funding from Arts Council England.

Thanks to Bounce Marketing, who helped us find publishers and authors to take part in this series.

This event will have BSL interpretation provided. PLEASE NOTE: because of the way Zoom works on an iPad, you will not be able to see the BSL interpretation during the talk if you’re using an iPad – please use an alternative device to view the webinar.

Wednesday, 12th May
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
flipped eye at 20: poetry from Malika Booker and Samatar Elmi (online)

Winning global acclaim for being a champion of compelling work, and now celebrating its 20th anniversary, flipped eye has been publishing affordable culture from the margins of British society since 2001, and we’re helping to commemorate its work over the last two decades and wish it well for the next two.

As an incubator for talent, flipped eye focuses on cultivating potential, as opposed to producing rapid output. Publications are a manifestation of long-term dialogue between editors and authors over several years. Award-winning authors who were discovered, developed or launched by flipped eye include Roger Robinson, Warsan Shire, Inua Ellams, Malika Booker, Miriam Nash, Nick Makoha and more.

Malika Booker is a British poet of Guyanese and Grenadian parentage and the founder of Malika’s Poetry Kitchen. She received her MA from Goldsmiths University and was recently awarded the Cultural Fellowship in Creative Writing/ Literary Art post at Leeds University. She was the inaugural Poet in Residence at the Royal Shakespeare Company in 2016 and won the Forward Prize for Best Single Poem for ‘The Little Miracles’ in 2020. Her first publication, Breadfruit, was with flipped eye in December 2007.

Samatar Elmi is a poet, PhD candidate, educator and activist. His poems have appeared in Magma, Iota, Scarf, Ink Sweat and Tears, Myths of the Near Future & more. As well as a published author, he is the founder of Myrrh Tree, an education provider aiming to increase social and cultural capital to improve social mobility in BAME and lower income families. His debut collection, Portrait of Colossus (flipped eye, 2021) was described as “the work of a hybrid sensibility taking its cues equally from the rhythms and narrative drive of the Hip Hop emcee and the wisdom of a true historian” by Kayo Chingonyi, winner of the Dylan Thomas Prize for poetry in 2018.

Tuesday, 25th May
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Bob Dylan in London, with Jackie Lees and KG Miles

Jackie Lees and KG Miles will be in conversation with Michael Eaton about their new book, Bob Dylan in London – which talks about exactly what it says on the cover. This event is one day after Dylan had his eightieth birthday.

Here we can talk about the venues and key Dylan related places in London (maybe with an added slide showing Dylan in Nottingham, since we are a Nottingham bookshop…)

Astonishingly, Jackie is only the second woman to write a Dylan book ever, and the first since 1982. That will be one thing to talk about!

 This is the story of Dylan’s earliest visits to London as an unknown folk singer, crashing in friends’ bedsits, right through to his sell-out concerts at the Royal Albert Hall and Earls Court.

Log in details for this online event to follow

Jackie Lees first heard Bob Dylan sing Lay Lady Lay on the radio when she was 13. A career of writing and editing for a homelessness charity was interrupted to co-curate the Dylan Room at the Troubadour, to provide amateur management for the Dylan Band and to write Bob Dylan in London: Troubadour Tales. 

K G Miles. From an awestruck child at the Isle of Wight Festival in 1969, Bob Dylan has taken Londoner K G Miles on an emotional musical journey lasting over 50 years. Now, as he is co-curator of the Dylan Room at London’s Troubadour Club and organises Dylan tours.

Michael Eaton is a Nottingham writer – his latest book is Based on a True Story, a collection of essays, playscripts and local history. He knows a thing or two about Dylan too.

Bob Dylan in London is available here: https://fiveleavesbookshop.co.uk/product/bob-dylan-in-london-troubadour-tales/

Thursday, 27th May
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Things I Have Withheld, with Kei Miller THIS DATE MAY CHANGE!

Kei Miller will be in conversation with Deanne Bell from Nottingham Trent University about the subjects of his Things I have Withheld, published earlier in May.

In this moving and lyrical collection of essays, the poet and novelist Kei Miller explores the silence in which so many important things are kept. He examines the experience of discrimination through this silence and what it means to breach it: to risk words, to risk truths. And he considers the histories our bodies inherit – the crimes that haunt them, and how meaning can shift as we move throughout the world, variously assuming privilege or victimhood. Through letters to James Baldwin, encounters with Liam Neeson, Soca, Carnival, family secrets, love affairs, white women’s tears, questions of aesthetics and more, Miller powerfully and imaginatively recounts everyday acts of racism and prejudice.

Kei Miller – like Deanne Bell – was born in Jamaica. He currently divides his time between Jamaica and the United Kingdom. He is currently Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Exeter. Published widely in the Caribbean before coming to the UK in 2004, his most recent other work included the novel Augustown and the poetry collection The Cartographer Tries to Map a Way to Zion.

Log in details to follow for this online event

His book of essays, Things I Have Withheld can be ordered in advance from bookshop@fiveleaves.co.uk

Monday, 7th June
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Overcoming Everyday Racism, with Susan Cousins

Susan Cousins will talk about the psychological impact of racism and discrimination on Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic people and offers steps to improve wellbeing. It includes She will talk about definitions of race, racism and other commonly used terms, such as microaggressions, and evaluates the effect of definitions used to describe BAME people.

She hopes to cover self-acceptance, personal growth, purpose in life, positive relations with others, environmental mastery, autonomy – and include examples and creative exercises.

Susan is the author of Overcoming Everyday Racism: Building Resilience and Wellbeing in the Face of Discrimination and Microaggressions which is for use as a tool within counselling and therapeutic settings as well as a self-help tool by individuals, each category provides a framework for thinking about how to manage everyday racism, live with more resilience, and thrive.


There’s an interview with Susan here: https://thepsychologist.bps.org.uk/volume-32/december-2019/we-need-support-our-diverse-population, which includes material on her own background in India.

Copies of her book are available from bookshop@fiveleaves.co.uk

This is a free event

A booking link will be posted shortly