Date/Time Event
Monday, 23rd March
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Sexuality and Translation in World Politics, with Ibtisam Ahmed and Ben Holland

When terms such as LGBT and queer cross borders they evolve and adjust to different political thinking. Queer became kvir in Kyrgyzstan and cuir in Ecuador, neither of which hold the English meaning. Translation is about crossing borders, but some languages travel more than others. Sexualities are usually translated from the core to the periphery, imposing Western LGBT identities onto the rest of the world. All this matters beyond words. Translating sexuality in world politics forces us to confront issues of emancipation, colonisation, and sovereignty, in which global frameworks are locally embraced and/or resisted. This book explores the entanglements of sex and tongue in international relations from Kyrgyzstan to Nepal, Japan to Tajikistan, Kurdistan to Amazonia.

Ibtisam Ahmed and Ben Holland will be in discussion about the issues raised in this book, Ibtisam’s own contribution to the book is “Decolonising Queer Bangladesh: Neoliberalism against LGBT+ emancipation”.

btisam is a Doctoral Research Student at the University of Nottingham and his research focuses on decolonisation and utopias. His work includes publications on the legacies of colonialism on queer communities in the Commonwealth.
Ben teaches political theory and international relations, and is co-director of the Centre for Normative Political Theory at the University of Nottingham. He is the author of two books on the history of political thought.

This event is free, but booking is required  via

Refreshments provided

Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Wednesday, 25th March
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Geoff Nicholson in conversation

Geoff Nicholson will Nicholson will be in conversation with Nottingham writer and Nottingham Trent lecturer David Belbin. Nicholson,  Sheffield-born, was until recently a resident of Los Angeles. He will be talking about his seventeen, idiosyncratically satirical novels, from Street Sleeper through to the recent The Miranda, whose subject matter – a man who walks a thousand miles in his back yard – links to his best known non-fiction, Walking in Ruins and The Lost Art of Walking, which he will also read from and discuss. His ‘Hollywood Walker’ blog is at

This event is organised by Nottingham Trent University Creative Writing Hub

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


Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Thursday, 26th March
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Five Leaves open book group discusses The Collector, by John Fowles

It has to be said that The Collector is not the cheeriest of books… a man captures a woman, and the book is written from the point of view of the captor and the captive.  It’s claustrophobic.

“Withdrawn, uneducated and unloved, Frederick collects butterflies and takes photographs. He is obsessed with a beautiful stranger, the art student Miranda. When he wins the pools he buys a remote Sussex house and calmly abducts Miranda, believing she will grow to love him in time. Alone and desperate, Miranda must struggle to overcome her own prejudices and contempt if she is understand her captor, and so gain her freedom.”

Five Leaves’ book group is open to all, and you can come just for the book under discussion, from time to time, or every time. We usually meet in the last week of the month, not always on the same day. All we ask is you read the book under discussion. You can obtain the book however you like (libraries are good…) but in the lead up to that event our book group books are discounted by 15%.

There’s a short introduction by a member of the staff or a customer, then a free for all!

Free, refreshments provided. Let us know you are coming on

Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Monday, 30th March
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Poetry from Sam Riviere

Sam Riviere is the author of the poetry books 81 Austerities and Kim Kardashian’s Marriage, both Faber, as well as numerous limited-edition titles. He won an Eric Gregory Award in 2009, and the Forward Prize for Best First Collection in 2012. Born in Norwich, he currently lives in Edinburgh, where he runs the micropublisher If a Leaf Falls Press.

Tonight we are pleased to launch his new collection After Fame, a discursive rendering of the Roman epigrammatist Martial’s Book I. Its 118 poems, on  through a variety of including machine translation (for which Latin still presents near-insurmountable difficulties), employing the results as scaffolding for poems that improvise their way clear of their originals. As it progresses, the book is interrupted by reflections on authorship, technology, cultural complicity and the mediating role of the poet: all fixations of Martial’s work that still resonate today. Pitched between translation and new writing…

A Nottingham Poetry Exchange event

Entrance: £4.00 (£2.00 students) including refreshments

Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Wednesday, 1st April
7:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Keeping Time, with Thomas Legendre

A crumbling marriage. An ancient mystery. And a way to change the past . . . When archaeologist Aaron Keeler finds himself transported eighteen years backward in time, he becomes swept up in a strangely illicit liaison with his younger wife. A brilliant musician, Violet is captivated by the attentive but weathered version of her husband. The Aaron she recently married–an American expat–had become distant, absorbed by his excavation of a prehistoric site at Kilmartin Glen on Scotland’s west coast…

Do join us to launch Thomas Legendre’s new  time slip novel, Keeping Time.

Thomas lives between Edinburgh and Nottingham, and teaches creative writing at the University of Nottingham.

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

Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Tuesday, 7th April
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Afropean, with Johny Pitts

Afropean. Here was a space where blackness was taking part in shaping European identity … A continent of Algerian flea markets, Surinamese shamanism, German Reggae and Moorish castles. Yes, all this was part of Europe too, and these were people and places it needed to understand and embrace if it wanted fully functional societies. And Black Europeans, too, need to demand the right to document and disseminate our stories … With my brown skin and my British passport – still a ticket into mainland Europe at the time of writing – I set out in search of the Afropeans, on a cold October morning.

Afropean – out in paperback this week – is a documentary of areas where Europeans of African descent juggle their multiple allegiances and forge new identities. Here is an alternative map of the continent, taking the reader to  Cova Da Moura, the Cape Verdean shantytown on the outskirts of Lisbon with its own underground economy, and Rinkeby, the area of Stockholm that is eighty per cent Muslim. Johny Pitts visits the former Patrice Lumumba University in Moscow, where African students are still making the most of Cold War ties with the USSR, and Clichy Sous Bois in Paris, which gave birth to the 2005 riots, all the while presenting Afropeans as lead actors in their own story.

Admission: £4.00 (£2.00 students) including refreshments. Booking essential on



Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Thursday, 9th April
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Sophie Labelle - Serious Trans Vibes


Sophie Labelle is a Canadian author, cartoonist, and public speaker. She is transgender and known for her webcomic Assigned Male detailing her experiences as a trans woman. She is active in the transgender rights movement and speaks on the subjects of trans history and transfeminism.

Tonight will be a mixture of standup comedy and, well, if we said that she wrote the comic Dating Tips for Trans and Queer Weirdos… you might get the right idea.

This will be a ticketed event with tickets being £8 (£4 for those without a wage), including refreshments.  Contact us on


Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Thursday, 23rd April
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Polari, with Paul Baker

As the speaker has a long train journey… we will start at 6.00 prompt, with refreshments at the end!

Polari is a language that was used chiefly by gay men at a time when being gay could result in criminal prosecution, offering a means of camouflage and identification. Its roots are varied – from Cant to dancers’ slang – and in the mid-1960s it was thrust into the limelight by the characters Julian and Sandy on the radio show Round the Horne (‘Oh Mr Horne, how bona to vada your dolly old eke!’).

Paul Baker traces Polari’s origins and describes its linguistic nuts and bolts, explores the environments in which it was spoken, and explains the reasons for its decline and unlikely re-emergence.

With a cast of drag queens and sailors, Dilly boys and macho clones, his Fabulosa! is an essential document of recent history and a fascinating account of this ingenious language.

Admission: £4.00 (£2.00 students). Please let us know you are coming on


Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Saturday, 25th April
2:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Form and Colour: Women Artists of the Early Twentieth Century

Join us for half day on women artists of the early twentieth century.  We will have a number of specialists talking about many of the women artists of this period.  Many of these artists, well known in their day, are only just being discussed again and their work highlighted.  Certainly books on women artists have been scarce for the last 20 years.  That too is changing at last.

Speakers are still be confirmed but so far we welcome:

Harriet Judd, from Eiderdown Books. Eiderdown Books is  a new publisher releasing books about female artists written by leading female writers, art historians and cultural commentators.  So far she has published books on  Laura Knight, Sylvia Pankhurst, Frances Hodgkins, Marlow Moss and Lee Miller., Harriet will be talking about why she set up the press and their approach to the artists that they publish.

Katy Norris on Sylvia Pankhurst, artist and activist.  Through her striking portraits of women at work in the factories, as well as her designs for badges, banners, murals and even tea -sets, her artistic endeavours furthered the argument for universal equal rights. Katy Norris researches Edwardian women artists, in partnership with Tate and Bristol University.  She was previously Curator at Pallant House Gallery, Chichester.

Sylvia Pankhurst

Full details to be confirmed but keep the date!

Venue:  Nottingham Mechanics Insitute

Small cafe and bar on site.



Venue: Nottingham Mechanics Institute, Nottingham
Monday, 27th April
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
An evening with Adam Mars-Jones

Adam Mars-Jones, we think, last did an event in Nottingham during the local Unsilenced Voices campaign against the homophobic Section 28. Then, he was the author of the collection of short stories Lantern Lecture and had written The Darker Proof with Edmund White. The latter collection reflected the Aids crisis.

A lot of time has passed since then and Mars-Jones has gone on to be a leading reviewer and film critic. His Kid Gloves details his difficult relationship with his father over Adam being gay, as his father slides into dementia.

The first half of this event will cover Adam Mars-Jones career, the second half focusing on his new novel, Box Hill, about a relationship between a gay biker and a younger man – Box Hill being where they met. Box Hill is elegantly published by Fitzcarraldo, Mars-Jones having won their 2019 Novel Prize. A novel of desire and domination, which starts in 1975.

Admission:  £4.00 (£2.00 students) including refreshments.

Please book via

Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Tuesday, 28th April
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Poetry from Will Harris

Will Harris is a writer of mixed Anglo-Indonesian heritage from London.  He is an Assistant Editor at The Rialto. Published in the Bloodaxe anthology Ten: Poets of the New Generation, he was featured in ES Magazine as part of the “new guard” of London poets. ‘SAY’ was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best Single Poem 2018, and he won a Poetry Fellowship from the Arts Foundation. His debut pamphlet of poems, All this is implied (HappenStance), was joint winner of the London Review Bookshop Pamphlet of the Year and shortlisted for the Callum Macdonald Memorial Award by the National Library of Scotland.

 Mixed-Race Superman, an essay, was published by Peninsula Press in 2018 and in an expanded edition by Melville House in the US in 2019. His first full poetry collection, RENDANG, is from Granta in the UK  and from Wesleyan University Press in the US later in the year. Will was a stand-out performer at the Nottingham Playhouse poetry day last year.


Author photo: Adrian Pope for the Forward Prizes for Poetry


Admission: £4.00 (£2.00 students) including refreshments. Booking essential via

Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Thursday, 30th April
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Five Leaves open book group discusses The Street by Ann Petry
“Ann Petry’s first novel, The Street, was a literary event in 1946, praised and translated around the world – the first book by a black woman to sell more than a million copies . . . Her work endures not merely because of the strength of its message but its artistry . . . Petry will always feel on time. … The music of her sentences, and their discipline; her unerring sense of psychology; the fullness with which she endows each character, which must be understood as a kind of love; the plots that commandeer whole hours and days. (I am writing this review in a swivet of shame, in fact, in the baleful eyeline of an unwalked dog, unwashed dishes, unanswered emails.) Her work endures not only because it illuminates reality, but because it harnesses the power of fiction to supplant it.”
New York Times
The Street has been re-issued by Virago, with an introduction by Tayari Jones, author of An American Marriage and winner of the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2019


Five Leaves Book Group is open, so come as often as you like – once, sometimes, every time. There’s a short introduction to the book, followed by a discussion. You can source the book wherever you like, but in the lead up to the meeting we offer 15% discount on the title in question. All we ask is that you read the book in advance and be prepared to discuss it.

Our book groups are always free and refreshments are provided. Do let us know you are coming on

Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Monday, 11th May
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Poetry from Elizabeth-Jane Burnett, Charlotte Newman and Cat Woodward

A Nottingham Poetry Exchange event as part of Feminist Book Fortnight

Elizabeth-Jane Burnett is a UK writer and academic. Her debut poetry collection Swims (Penned in the Margins) was a Sunday Times Best Poetry Book of the Year. Her monograph A Social Biography of Contemporary Innovative Poetry Communities: The Gift, the Wager and Poethics (Palgrave) explores the ways that recent experimental poetry scenes operate along a gift economy.

She is a regular contributor to BBC3’s Free Thinking and her recently published nature writing book The Grassling, A Geological Memoir won Penguin Random House’s WriteNow competition. Much of her creative practice is informed by its landscape.  She is a keen wild swimmer and walker and is also interested in urban spaces.

Cat Woodward is a socialist feminist lyric poet and academic. Her first collection, Sphinx, was p in 2017 by Salò Press. Her Second collection Blood. Flower. Joy!  from Knives, Forks and Spoons Press was published in April. In 2018 she won the Ivan Juritz Prize for a collection of short lyrics.



Charlotte Newman won the inaugural Sabotage Award for Best Poetry Pamphlet and was featured in The Salt Book of Younger Poets. She worked as a journalist for a family law firm, writing for national newspapers while also contributing reviews to The Observer, The New Statesman and Poetry Review. Charlotte  was shortlisted for The Scotsman’s Allen Wright Award for theatre criticism.





Admission: £4.00 (£2.00 students) including refreshments.  Please book your place via

Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Thursday, 14th May
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Feminism, Interrupted: Disrupting Power with Lola Olufemi

A Feminist Book Fortnight event

More than just a slogan on a t-shirt, feminism is a radical tool for fighting back against structural violence and injustice. Feminism, Interrupted is a bold call to seize feminism back from the cultural gatekeepers and return it to its radical roots.

Lola Olufemi explores state violence against women, the fight for reproductive justice, transmisogyny, gendered Islamophobia and solidarity with global struggles, showing that the fight for gendered liberation can change the world for everybody when we refuse to think of it solely as women’s work. Including testimonials from Sisters Uncut, migrant groups working for reproductive justice, prison abolitionists and activists involved in the international fight for Kurdish and Palestinian rights, Olufemi emphasises the link between feminism and grassroots organising.

Reclaiming feminism from the clutches of the consumerist, neoliberal model, Feminism, Interrupted shows that when ‘feminist’ is more than a label, it holds the potential for radical transformative work.

Author bio: 
Lola Olufemi is a black feminist writer and organiser from London. She has written and spoken at numerous events about feminism and decolonisation across the country, and was a member of the NUS Women’s Campaign and NUS National Executive Committee. She is the author of Feminism, Interrupted: Disrupting Power (Pluto Press, 2019).
Book  information
Feminism Interrupted is published in the Outspoken series from Pluto Press. The series gives a platform to underrepresented voices and aim to be books that dissent.

Tickets: £4 including refreshments. Please let us know you are coming on

Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham

Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Thursday, 21st May
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
A Beautiful Way to be Crazy and other Stage Poems with Genevieve Carver

A Feminist Book Fortnight event

“One of the most powerful voices of the Fringe this year” – EdFringe Review 2019

At the time of publication, 70% of music acts in the UK are all-male. Based on interviews with female and non-binary practitioners across the music industry, A Beautiful Way to be Crazy is a tale of growing up, finding a voice, and listening to Joni Mitchell records. It was originally a live show by Genevieve and her band of multi-instrumentalist musicians The Unsung (Tim Knowles, Ruth Nicholson and Brian Bestall), weaving together spoken word, live music, verbatim interview clips a few teenage diary entries.  This was taken to the Edinburgh Fringe in 2019 to great acclaim.

The poems from the live show are presented here alongside some of Genevieve’s other poems for the stage. Her trademark mix of humour and melancholy includes musings on dancing, dreaming, failing to grow up, dead musicians and hangovers.

Genevieve read some of her poems here last year as part of the launch for Waymaking.  We re delighted that she is back to celebrate the publication of her first volume of poetry.  Do come and join us for a discussion of women in the music industry and hear the poems inspired by her interviews and her stage show with The Unsung.

Tuesday, 26th May
12:00 am
Five Leaves open book group discusses On Chapel Sands, by Laura Cumming

“In the autumn of 1929, a child was kidnapped from a Lincolnshire beach. Five days went by before she was found in a nearby village. The child remembered nothing of these events and nobody ever spoke of them at home. It was another fifty years before she even learned of the kidnap.

The child became an artist and had a daughter, art writer Laura Cumming. Cumming grew up enthralled by her mother’s strange tales of life in a seaside hamlet of the 1930s. So many puzzles remained to be solved. Cumming began with a few criss-crossing lives in this fraction of English coast – the postman, the grocer, the elusive baker – but her search spread right out across the globe as she discovered just how many lives were affected by what happened that day on the beach – including her own.”

On Chapel Sands is in hardback but is published in paperback at the start of April

Five Leaves Book Group is open, so come as often as you like – once, sometimes, every time. There’s a short introduction to the book, followed by a discussion. You can source the book wherever you like, but in the lead up to the meeting we offer 15% discount on the title in question. All we ask is that you read the book in advance and be prepared to discuss it.

Our book groups are always free and refreshments are provided. Do let us know you are coming on

Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Wednesday, 27th May
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Tokyo Redux, with David Peace
Supported by Nottingham Trent University Creative Writing Hub
Admission: £4.00 (£2.00 students) including refreshments. Please book your seat via

Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Thursday, 4th June
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
A People's History of Tennis, with David Berry

Tennis is not the first sport that comes to mind when you think of socialism and sport, but between the wars there were masses of workers’ tennis clubs, set up in opposition to what was seen as a middle-class sport, with an annual competition sponsored by the TUC. These faded, postwar, but other issues arose within the sport, often to do with gender, sexuality and race. There were campaigns for equality in prize money and tennis players from Arthur Ashe onward literally changed the face of the game. In recent times many prominent women tennis players were out lesbians at a time it was difficult to be out, particularly in sport.

David Berry is a writer and a journalist, and has played tennis since the age of eleven

Entrance: £4 (£2 students), includes refreshments. Please let us know you are coming on

Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Thursday, 2nd July
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Welcome to the Rebellion, Star Wars as a mirror for contemporary politics, with Michael Harris

In the first book to present Star Wars as a mirror for contemporary politics, Michael Harris reveals Star Wars’ new Left roots.  Star War fans will recognise the title reference!

What does it mean that our most popular modern myth is a radical left story about fighting corporate authoritarianism? From its roots in the 1960s new left, Star Wars still speaks to millions of people today. By design, the saga mirrors our own time and politics. A real empire of corporate domination has arisen within weakened and corrupted republics. Now it threatens our existence on a planetary scale.

But, the popularity of Star Wars also suggests that if we tell the right stories, we can Welcome to the Rebellion many more people to fight for a better world…

Michael Harris is an independent writer and researcher with a focus on change, specifically the political, technological, social, cultural, economic, and institutional changes required to meet the challenges of the future. His work has been featured in national media including BBC News, The Guardian, The Times, The Telegraph, and Prospect magazine, as well as many academic journals. He lives in the Far East.

Entrance:  £4.00 (£2.00 students) including refreshments. Please let us us know you are coming on

Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Sunday, 12th July
4:30 pm - 6:00 pm
Afternoon tea with Pablo

Join us to celebrate Pablo Neruda’s birthday!

Pablo Neruda was born on this day, in 1904 in Chile. He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1971 and died in 1973. He was a poet and political activist. Gabriel García Márquez once called him “the greatest poet of the 20th century in any language”.


He was close to Allende, the elected leader of Chile who was overthrown and murdered in a coup by the armed forces.

Neruda’s best known work in the UK is probably Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair

There will be readings in Spanish and English. Full programme to follow

Admission: £4.00 (£2.00 students) including tea and cake.

Booking essential on


Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
1 2 3