Date/Time Event
Thursday, 21st March
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
An evening with Kate Mosse: FULLY BOOKED

See booking note at end!

Kate Mosse is the author of six novels & short story collections, including the multi-million selling Languedoc Trilogy – Labyrinth, Sepulchre and Citadel – and bestselling Gothic fiction including The Winter Ghosts and The Taxidermist’s Daughter, which she is currently adapting for the stage. Her books have been translated into 37 languages and published in more than 40 countries. She has also written three works of non-fiction, four plays and curated a collection of short stories inspired by Wuthering Heights.

A champion of women’s creativity, Kate is the Founder Director of the Women’s Prize for Fiction – the largest annual celebration of women’s writing in the world – and sits on the Executive Committee of Women of the World. She was named Woman of the Year for her service to the arts in the Everywoman Awards. Deputy Chair of the National Theatre in London, Kate hosts the pre & post performance interview series at Chichester Festival Theatre in Sussex, Platform Events for the National Theatre in London, as well interviewing writers, directors, campaigners and actors at literary and theatre festivals in the UK and beyond.

Kate Mosse © Ruth Crafer 5584Kate will be launching the paperback of The Burning Chambers where old secrets cast long shadows.

In association with Nottingham City of Literature and Nottinghamshire Libraries/Inspire

Tickets: £5. Bar on site.


Venue: Beeston Library, Beeston
Saturday, 23rd March
10:30 am - 12:30 pm
I always loved you – you just didn’t see it.

A discursive event to reflect on Kate’s residency at Bromley House Library. Kate will discuss and showcase the work she has made as part of the project, centring around the theme ‘Hidden Refuge’. There will also be an opportunity to walk around the library and find out about the work that Kate, and users of the library, have produced during her residency. Coffee and Cake will be served.

Free event – 12 places only. Please book via Bromley House Library:

You can also continue to contribute to the work by providing your thoughts on the following questions:

•    What is BHL a refuge from?
•    Why does BHL offer you a safe haven?
•    By coming to BHL, what are you escaping?

Cards are available in the main library for written responses – but also please feel free to respond via social media. Any artworks generated from these comments will be anonymous and will be displayed within the library.

For more information on Kate and her work please visit:

Saturday, 23rd March
11:00 am - 5:00 pm
The Tenth States of Independence: a free book festival in one day

States of Independence is a book festival in a day, attended by several hundred people, featuring around 25 stalls and 25 events, organised by Five Leaves and the Creative Writing Team at De Montfort University.

All events are free and unticketed. There are  readings, book launches, industry panels – all from the world of independent presses, independent writing, independent thinking.

Come for an hour or come for all day.

We have a cafe on site and all the events are free.

The programme. Note – times might change slightly, please call back nearer the time to check. A day programme is given out at the event


Crime fiction, with John Harvey

 John Harvey has been a leading voice in British crime writing for decades. His latest novel is Body & Soul. Here, his detective Frank Elder, finds that his own daughter might be a victim of crime, but she might also be a murderer. It’s his job to prove her innocence.

Shieldmaidens, with Marianne Whiting

 States of Independence’s in-house Viking takes to the stage to conclude the series of Shieldmaidens – where a young Viking woman picks up her sword and goes in search of retribution and justice as the English are fighting the Norse for supremacy. Worship of the old Norse gods is challenged by Christianity. Traditional loyalties are tested and revenge can be swift.

 Alan Baker and Deborah Tyler-Bennett reading

Alan Baker – reading also as part of Red Ceilings – will be reading from his new collection Riverrun, a set of sonnets about the Trent “when the May-flies rise in the sun”; Deborah Tyler-Bennett will be reading from Mr Bowlly Regrets, also set in the East Midlands, with subjects including the women who comb the obituaries of their local press to the lads from tiny Leicestershire communities who died at Flanders.

Sabrina Mei-Li Smith, ‘The Holy Bible’ or “What happened to that Richey bloke from the Manic Street Preachers?”

Sabrina Mei-Li Smith has worked with Derby Theatre, Tamasha and ‘In Good Company’ to produce a biographical play about Richey Edwards from the Manic Street Preachers focussing on the under-documented time he spent in Roehampton’s Priory Hospital in 1994. Sabrina will talk about her use of a memory box of 1990s alternative music scene memorabilia, and the genre of biofiction.


 Writers Workshopping Manuscripts 
Leicester Writers’ Club  (Michelle Houghton), Soundswrite women’s publishing group (Jayne Stanton) discuss how to get the best out of your writing working within a group crit scheme. Siobhan Logan from the DMU Creative Writing Team moderates the discussion.
A reading from Norman Erikson Pasaribu – our international guest
Norman is a writer of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction. Dubbed by English PEN as ‘part of long tradition of queer Catholic writing’, his first book of poems Sergius Seeks Bacchus won a PEN Translates Award. He won the Young Author Award from the Southeast Asia Literary Council. He is one of most the most celebrated young writers in Indonesia today.
Joni Mitchell: critical listening
In this sound and image-illustrated talk, Ruth Charnock looks at Joni Mitchell’s work as a musician, composer, cultural commentator and antagonist, thinking particularly about Mitchell’s album Blue and its depiction of desire, free love, and the late ’60s, whilst also exploring Mitchell’s wider cultural contributions and significance.
Longbarrow Press poetry reading with Mark Goodwin
 Divided into four ‘compasses’, Mark’s Rock as Gloss offers a variety of approaches to ‘the rock in hand’ (whether gritstone or slate), or the fell under foot (whether on or off the map), and enacts a dialogue with the culture and literature of climbing and fell-walking, speaking to (and through) Menlove Edwards, Ted Hughes, Coleridge and others.
What are Universities for? How should they be governed?
The various crises – financial and otherwise – at universities throughout Britain, together with the implications of last year’s pension strikes by university lecturers, have called into play some serious discussions about the future of individual universities and that of higher education as a whole. 
Dyslexia & Creative Writing   
Jane Adams, Rod Duncan and Yevgeny Salisbury are all dyslexic, and all are writers… Rod being a crime and Steampunk (ish) novelist, Jane writes crime fiction and Yev is a poet. All have the positive message of “yes, you can”, but this session also looks at issues around dyslexia.
Over the Water – writing from the Irish in Britain
Deirdre O’Byrne and Graham Caveney discuss what it means to be second generation Irish in Britain, and how second (and third) generation Irish writers in this country reflect their lives here.
Never Again: Rock against Racism and the Anti-Nazi League 1976-1982
David Renton revisits the biggest mass campaign against fascism since the 1930s, and the music culture from which it came. He will also suggest that it was a campaign for its time that cannot be replicated in opposing racism and fascism now.
Shoestring Press poetry with Tony Roberts and Michael Barholemew-Biggs
Michael’s latest collection Poems in the Case, is, perhaps, unique in that it is a murder mystery in which two poets from a poetry workshop are mysteriously bumped off following doubts about the authenticity of some poems by a former member!  Poet and critic Tony Roberts’ fifth collection, The Noir American & Other Poems, presents in thirteen instalments his picaresque tale of a 1950s jazzman, along with love poems to family and friends, elegies and monologues.
Mantle Arts combined book launch
 Mantle Lane Press has been publishing the work of new and emerging Midlands based writers for the last five years. The books are published in a pocketbook format similar to the Penguin 60s series, and have covers by visual artists and illustrators new to book design.
We are launching three new books this March: two collections of short stories: A Painting for a Blind Man by Valentine William and A Change of Direction by Frances Thimann; along with Submerged a novella by Garrie Fletcher.
Book Illustration
What is the art of book illustration? How do images and writing strike up a dialogue? How do illustrators work with authors? Join Illustrators Julian Pinnick and Ian Newsham to discuss their craft, inspirations, and share samples of their work.

Launch of ‘Take Three’ Volume 1 – debut poetry collections by Pippa Hennessy, Elizabeth Hourston and Tuesday Shannon.

Come and enjoy three unique voices taking us from hot summer nights in town to what quantum theory can tell us about the human condition, and then off to the wild landscapes of the Orkneys. This is the first in a Soundswrite Press series featuring emerging women poets from the East Midlands.

The Spanish Revolution #1
Iain McKay takes us back to Spain in the 1930s where anarchists occupied the factories and the land, to make a revolution at the same time as fighting Franco’s fascists. And within that revolution, the women of Mujeres Libre fought also for the liberation of women.
Don’t Mention the War? Writing about World War II
Clare Harvey has written a series of popular fiction books set during World War II. In this talk and reading she will discuss researching that period and how to tell a universal story within a particular time setting that, for most of us, is beyond living memory.
Dr Strangely Strange and Dublin Psychedelia!
Adrian Whittaker – author of a book on this 1960s band – takes us on a trip to a different country and a different time to discuss the unlikely flowering of psychedelic rock musi using this band as the main example. Sound and visually illustrated of course.

Exploring Identity in Fiction through Readings and a Literary Quiz 

Identity is a common theme in fiction, but what does it actually mean? Author, book blogger and former psychologist, Anne Goodwin invites you to explore the concept through extracts from classical and contemporary novels and readings from her own first short story collection, Becoming Someone. Test your literary knowledge in the quiz by identifying the sources of the quotations.

Shearsman poetry reading with Geraldine Clarkson 

Shearsman – always our furthest travelled stall-holder! – presents a reading by Geraldine who comes from a family of ten, and her poetry is influenced by her roots in the West of Ireland, and years which she spent in monastic life, including three years in the Peruvian desert. Her chapbook, Declare, was a Poetry Book Society pamphlet choice.  

Diversity in Publishing
Carol Leeming, Farhana Shaikh and Selina Lock discuss one of the most important issues in modern publishing – how do we get the industry to reflect the country we live in, in its staffing, in its publishing. Race, class, gender… there’s work to be done. Chaired by Nicola Valentine.
Red Ceilings reading with Andrew Taylor, Martin Stannard and Alan Baker
Red Ceilings is (are??) a new, Derbyshire publisher, specialising in producing small runs of rather beautiful A6 pamphlets by published writers, with an emphasis on experimental writing. Three of their first set of writers read today.
Demon Crew 
Come and hear DMU Creative Writers, undergrad and postgrad, read from work in a variety of genres and forms. YA fiction, Memoir, SF, Lit Fic, Weird Fic, poetry – we have it all!
Grimalkin Ghostly Hour
Grimalkin Books returns with more ghosts and other strangeness. Join authors Stuart Hill, Martyn Carey and Jane Adams for dark tales to make you shiver.
Spanish Revolution #2
The Media Discourse Centre at DMU present a session on “Spain: crisis, history and protest” looking at the various protest, housing and social movements in modern Spain.


Venue: Clepham Building, Leicester
Monday, 25th March
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Poetry, with Peter Manson and Sarah Hayden - SORRY, THIS EVENT NOW CANCELLED

Peter Manson (born Glasgow, 1969) is a poet and translator of poetry.  His books include English in Mallarmé (Blart Books), Poems of Frank Rupture (Sancho Panza Press),  Adjunct: an Undigest and For the Good of Liars (both from Barque Press), and Between Cup and Lip (Miami University Press, Ohio).  Miami UP also publish his book of translations, Stéphane Mallarmé: The Poems in Verse.

Image result for peter manson

Some audio is available on the Archive of the Now website and on  Video on YouTube and Vimeo.  Contains mild peril.

Sarah Hayden is a writer and academic. Her poetry chapbooks are sitevisit (Materials), Turnpikes (Sad Press), System Without Issue (Oystercatcher) and Exteroceptive (Wild Honey). Other poems and lecture-poems have appeared in Blackbox ManifoldGolden Handcuffs ReviewTripwiredatableed and elsewhere. She also writes for artists and art events and is an AHRC ECR Leadership Fellow on the ‘Voices in the Gallery’ project (2019-2021).

In association with Nottingham Poetry Exchange

Tickets: Sorry, this event is has been cancelled.

Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Tuesday, 26th March
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
The World-Ending Fire, by Wendell Berry - Five Leaves book group

Image result for wendell berry

Wendell Berry lives and works on his farm in Kentucky. In these essays he writes about nature, the food we eat, the land we live on. He lives without a computer, slowly… Berry is often mentioned as a modern-day Thoreau and as a prophet.

Our book group is open, come for one meeting or as many as you like, and is always the last week of the month. It’s free, and refreshments are provided. For the avoidance of doubt, Wendell Berry is not attending! There’s always a rather short introduction by one of the group or a member of Five Leaves’ staff to get the discussion going.

All we ask is you read the book in advance.

We don’t mind where you source the book, but in the lead up to the book group meeting we offer 15% off the title in question.

Let us know you are coming on

Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Thursday, 28th March
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Across the Stone Bridge, book launch with Tom O'Rourke

Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Wednesday, 3rd April
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Prose Poems, with Jeremy Noel-Tod

Prose poems? Contradiction in terms? Nope, think Emma Lazarus, Allen Ginsberg, Baudelaire, Margaret Atwood, Claudia Rankine, Seamus Heaney, Eileen Myles, Anne Carson, Bertolt Brecht, Elizabeth Bishop… some of the biggest names in poetry write prose poems. At the very least, you’ll know them when you see them!

Image result for jeremy noel todd

Jeremy Noel-Tod will be reading some, and discussing the form. He is the editor of The Penguin Book of the Prose Poem, the poetry critic of the Sunday Times and teaches on the creative writing course at UEA.

In association with the School of English, University of Nottingham

Tickets: £3 on the door, including refreshments. Please let us know you are coming on


Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Sunday, 7th April
4:30 pm - 6:00 pm
Proud: stories, poetry and art on the theme of Pride

“From gay penguins to runaway peacocks, fierce poetry … Proud is a fabulous collection of LGBTQ+ stories for teens”

“Be still my rainbow-striped, queer-as-all heck beating heart! From the adorable to the achingly beautiful, from the funny to the fabulous… a collection of stories that speaks to so many different experiences.”

Image result for proud dawson stripes

Five Leaves is pleased to welcome two authors from Proud – Fox Benwell and Karen Lawler, who will be joined by Charlie Morris from the publisher, Stripes. Charlie worked with the editor Juno Dawson in creating this book.

Everyone says it’s hard to get young LGBT+ people to events. Not so, especially when you throw in afternoon tea with scones…

This event is open to all, but will be of particular interest to LBGTQ+ young people

Tickets: £3.00 on the door, but please let us know you are coming on

Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Wednesday, 10th April
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Town Hall, buildings, people and power, with Dawn Reeves

Everyone has them… our near neighbour with its Little John bells, its weddings and its protest pickets and all the fun of the fair outside, or at County Hall, that green roof and the statues outside representing our – past – workforce. Symbols of democracy, civic pride, power and, often, stunning architecture.

Image result for nottinghamshire county council statues


This illustrated talk looks at the architecture and the politics of “the town hall” in this age of austerity, with examples from around the country. Diana Gillespie, who wrote about County Hall, will join the discussion.

In association with the East Midlands branch of the Twentieth Century Society.

Tickets: £3 on the door, including refreshments. Please let us know you are coming on


Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Thursday, 18th April
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Remembering Hillsborough, with David Cain and others

On 15 April, thirty years ago this week, in the opening minutes of the FA Cup semi-final between Nottingham Forest and Liverpool, 96 people died in what was the most serious tragedy in British sporting history. For almost thirty years survivors and the families of the dead campaigned against the police, government and the media who blamed the supporters for the tragedy. They eventually won and a second inquest ruled that the 96 were killed unlawfully because of failures by the police and the ambulance services. 

Image result for david cain truth street

David Cain will be reading from his epic poem which combines eye-witness testimonies of the survivors to create a piece that is part oral history, part documentary theatre.

Another speaker will be added later. The event will be chaired by  Wollaton councillor Steve Battlemuch, a regular at Forest matches, who was at the Forest end at Hillsborough.

Tickets: £3.00 on the door, refreshments included. Booking essential via

Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Friday, 19th April - Sunday, 28th April
All Day
Nottingham Poetry Festival

Advance notice of Nottingham Poetry Festival. Readings by well known poets, poetry in pubs, poetry in performance. Bookfair.

Full programme to follow

Thursday, 25th April
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Poetry from John Harvey, with images by Molly Ernestine Boiling and more poetry from Stuart Henson

Join us for a belated 80th birthday celebration for local writer John Harvey (well, he lives in London now, but still comes back for Notts County matches!). John is best known for his crime fiction, but is also a poet with several collections to his name, and he used to edit the little magazine Slow Dancer and Slow Dancer Press.ASLANT COVER10

He will be reading with projections of photographs by Molly Ernestine Boiling, which also feature in the book.

His new collection, Aslant, will be published by Nottingham’s Shoestring Press




Stuart Henson’s new collection is also from Shoestring, featuring 46 new poems and selections from his first six books.  He will be reading the best of the best…. Here’s a review of the book in London Grip:

The Way You Know It

Free, refreshments provided. Please let us know you are coming on

Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Monday, 29th April
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Five Leaves' open book group discussing Nan Shepherd's The Living Mountain

Image result for living mountain nan shepherd

The Living Mountain is a classic of nature writing, about the Cairgorms in Scotland. Originally written during WWII, the book lay untouched for more than thirty years before being published.

Our book group is open so that people can attend once in a lifetime, every month or when the fancy takes them. All we ask is that you read the book in advance.

You can source the book wherever you like, but in the lead up to the book group we offer 15% discount to anyone buying it, whether they plan to come to the discussion or not!

Free, refreshments included. Please let us know you are coming on

Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Tuesday, 30th April
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Poetry and Place, with Alan Baker, Sue Dymoke and Aly Stoneman

Alan Baker, Sue Dymoke and Aly Stoneman read poems about near and far-flung places and talk about the place of place in their poetry.

Alan Baker is the editor of Leafe Press. His latest collections are Letters from the Underworld (Red Ceilings) and Riverrun (KFS), a sequence of poems about the River Trent.



Sue Dymoke’s third full collection What They Left Behind was published by Shoestring Press in 2018.



Aly Stoneman is currently writing about sea-level rise and erosion on the British coast. She is a PhD researcher at Nottingham Trent University, sponsored by the AHRC and Midlands3Cities Doctoral Training Partnership.


Tickets on the door: £3 including refreshments. Please let us know you are coming on

A Nottingham Poetry Festival event





Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Thursday, 2nd May
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Take Three: Soundswrite Press New Poets
Three distinct new voices in poetry from women of the East Midlands – Pippa Hennessy, Tuesday Shannon and Elizabeth Hourston – take us from hot nights in town, to quantum theory and the human condition, to the wild landscapes of the Orkneys.
Pippa Hennessy has been a publishing worker at Five Leaves for several years, so we are excited by this particular event.
Tickets: £3.00 on the door, including refreshements
In association with Soundswrite
A Nottingham Poetry Festival event
Soundswrite Press_Take Three front cover FINAL 300dpi
Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Friday, 3rd May
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Common People: An Anthology of Working Class Writers with Anita Sethi


fbfOur first event for Feminist Book Fortnight. Join us in celebrating the publication of this crowd-funded anthology, edited by Kit de Waal.

Common People brings together thirty-three established and emerging writers who invite you to experience the world through their eyes, their voices loud and clear as they reclaim and redefine what it means to be working class.  Common People is a collection of essays, poems and memoir written in celebration, not apology: these are narratives rich in barbed humour, reflecting the depth and texture of working-class life, the joy and sorrow, the solidarity and the differences.

Common People

We will be joined here at Five Leaves by two contributors to the book:

Anita Sethi is an award-winning writer, journalist and broadcaster who has written for the Guardian,ObserverSunday TimesDaily Telegraph, Sunday TelegraphIndependentIndependent on SundayNew StatesmanGranta ,(She has also been birdwatching with Margaret Atwood!).

Jodie Russian-Red. Jodie is a Hull-born writer, poet, artist and part-time office administrator based in Nottingham. She has presented numerous spoken word shows and In 2018 she was selected to be part of Penguin Random House’s under-represented writers programme.  Jodie is appearing with the support of Writing East Midlands.

Anita Sethi





There will be readings from the book as well as a discussion of the use of crowdfunding as a way of getting diverse books published.

Tickets: £3.00 on the door, including refreshments. Please let us know you are coming on

Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Saturday, 4th May - Saturday, 18th May
9:00 am - 9:00 pm
Feminist Book Fortnight

fbfFeminist Book Fortnight is a Five Leaves initiative, launched in 2018, when fifty independent bookshops and other organisations set up talks, discussions, book launches, poetry readings and socials to celebrate feminist writing. from all over Britain and Ireland.  Shops have already committed to taking part in 2019, as have the four women’s libraries in Britain.  One shop is in Italy!  More are signing up all the time.

Organisation is decentralised, with Five Leaves providing a website, social media, press support and print.

Feminist Book Fortnight is supported by the Booksellers Association

Please contact if you are an independent bookshop, a literature promoter, library or any other organisation wishing to take part.

Our events: See 16th May event.  More to come!

Wednesday, 8th May
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Waymaking: An Anthology of Women’s Adventure Writing, Poetry and Art


Books about being active in the outdoors have been largely dominated by male writing.  We are delighted to celebrate the publication of Waymaking,  published by Vertebrate Publishing and edited by Helen Mort, Claire Carter, Heather Dawe and Camilla Barnard.  For this event we are delighted to welcome:

Camilla Barnard editor at VP Publishing and artist

Ruth Wiggins  poet, blogger (Mudpath,)  hiker

Genevieve Carver  poet and surfer and musician


This book is an anthology of prose, poetry and artwork by women who are inspired by wild places, adventure and landscape.

Published in 1961, Gwen Moffat’s Space Below My Feet tells the story of a woman who shirked the conventions of society and chose to live a life in the mountains. Some years later in 1977, Nan Shepherd published The Living Mountain, her prose bringing each contour of the Cairngorm mountains to life. These pioneering women set a precedent for a way of writing about wilderness that isn’t about conquering landscapes, reaching higher, harder or faster, but instead about living and breathing alongside them, becoming part of a larger adventure.  The artists in this inspired collection continue Gwen and Nan’s legacies, redressing the balance of gender in outdoor adventure literature.

Tickets on the door, £3.00, includes refreshments. Please let us know you are coming on

Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham


Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Sunday, 12th May
4:30 pm - 6:00 pm
Nurses' Day

Five Leaves is pleased to work with the RCN (Royal College of Nursing) trade union to celebrate nurses’ day.

Full details to follow

Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Thursday, 16th May
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
The Women in the Room: Labour's Forgotten History with Nan Sloan

Women in the Room

A Feminist Book Fortnight eventfbf

‘All too often the achievements of working class women have been excluded from the history books.  Yet it was these women who often fought the hardest and had the most to lose.  It is up to us to bring to life the hidden history of working class women and their great achievements.  Nan  Sloane takes up that challenge.  She unearths the stories of women who, long before the campaign for women’s suffrage, fought for workers’ rights and played a key role in the birth of the Labour Party.’  Dawn Butler MP

Come and join us for a talk by Nan Sloane followed by a discussion.  Nan is a writer and activist with extensive experience of politics, feminism and the Labour Party.  As the Director of the Centre for Women and Democracy she campaigned to increase women’s participation in both civil society and politics.  She has worked with women political activists in the Middle East, the Balkans and Africa as well as in the UK.

The Women in the Room: Labour’s Forgotten History is published by I B Tauris.

Tickets: £3 on the door, including refreshments. Please let us know you are coming on

Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
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