‘Date Night’ with Raven Leilani, Jade LB, and Shanice Dover, chaired by Charlene Prempeh

Virtual Event Virtual Event

January 13 @ 6:00 pm 7:00 pm GMT

Free with optional donation

Join Sunday Times bestselling author Raven Leilani and special guests for an evening of conversation around Leilani’s prize-winning debut novel LUSTER, discussing some of of the central themes of the novel: what it is like for young Black women to date in this day and age, looking at the similarities and differences of dating as a Black woman in the US and the UK, and tackling subjects such as interracial couples, open marriages and online dating to adoption and growing up as a Black girl in Western society. Whilst discussing difficult topics, we see this evening as a night of celebration and want to create a safe space for Black women to have a platform and highlight issues that are often overlooked in the dating arena.

Registration for this event is free. Everyone who registers via this page will receive Crowdcast access instructions by email on the afternoon of the event.

During registration, you’ll also have the option to buy a copy of the new paperback edition of LUSTER, available for nationwide delivery or collection in person from Pages of Hackney, E5 0RN.

You’ll also be able to make a donation to Sistah Space, a specialist support charity for African & Caribbean heritage women affected by abuse. While there is no obligation to do so, both A Vibe Called Tech and Pages of Hackney strongly encourage you to contribute whatever you can (even if just the cost of your daily coffee). Sistah Space provides a crucially important range of services in Hackney, and all donations will directly benefit the members of our community making use of their services.

Raven Leilani’s work has been published in GrantaMcSweeney’s Quarterly Concern and The Cut, among other publications. Leilani received her MFA from NYU and was the Axinn Foundation Writer in Residence there. Luster is her first novel.

Jade LB is a London-based creative and academic writer. Her writing explores topics including black women and relationships, black British culture and the black British working-class experience.

In 2005, Jade began releasing chapters of her seminal work, Keisha The [Da] Sket which she had begun in the same year, aged thirteen. Beginning on the platform formerly known as Piczo, and shared among young people, Keisha The Sket went on to become a viral modern classic of black British culture, pioneering both online serialisation and viral content, as well as youth-authored youth experience.

Keisha The Sket has since been acquired by #Merky Books and was published in October 2021.

Jade is one half of The Echo Chamber podcast which explores the politics of existing whilst black and working-class.

Shanice Dover is a writer and Social Media Manager for new media publication gal-dem. Launched in 2015, gal-dem platforms the stories of people of colour from marginalised genders. Shanice writes the monthly dating column ‘Swipe Left‘, sharing her thoughts on love, sex and relationships. 

Charlene Prempeh is the founder of A Vibe Called Tech. She developed the initiative and creative agency to explore the intersection of Black creativity, culture, and innovation. After studying PPE at Oxford University, she began a career in marketing and worked at some of the UK’s most prominent media platforms and art institutions including the BBC, The Guardian, and Frieze. More recently, she launched A Vibe Called Tech to encourage a culturally diverse lens in design, technology, arts, and culture by spearheading partnerships, events, research, and workshops across London and through her journalism and consultancy work. She currently consults for the Royal Academy of Arts and Art Fund, is the Marketing lead for Society Centered Design at Projects by IF, and is a member of the steering group for Chatham House and London Design Biennale Design Resonance In An Age Of Crisis. Charlene is an FT How to Spend it columnist and contributing editor who writes about Black innovators, design, travel, and culture.

Posted on

Ollie on Rough Trade Book Club with Olivia Sudjic

Ollie was a guest on the first Rough Trade Book Club show of 2022 on Soho Radio this week. Listen below to hear him chatting with Olivia Sudjic (author of ASYLUM ROAD), Nina & Will of Rough Trade Books, and host Mathew Clayton about the books he’s been enjoying, what he’s looking forward to reading this year, as well as a few songs selected especially for the occasion.

Big thanks to Rough Trade Books!

Posted on

One more quick festive update

From this evening we’ll be staying open a bit longer on most days between now and the 24th, giving you a little extra time to collect those orders.

Thu 16: 10:30 – 8:00
Fri 17: 10:30 – 8:00
Sat 18: 10:00 – 6:00
Sun 19: 10:00 – 6:00

Mon 20: 10:30 – 8:00
Tue 21: 10:30 – 8:00
Wed 22 : 10:30 – 8:00
Thu 23: 10:30 – 8:00
Fri 24: 10.30 – 4:00

The shop is frequently very busy, so browsing online in advance and ordering for collection is absolutely the best approach to ensure that we can keep things moving as quickly and efficiently as possible.

When visiting, please remember that we’ll ask you to wear a mask as well as allowing each other as much space as possible whilst moving around the shop.

Book availability remains pretty good overall, however we are beginning to see some delays with books going to reprint, so our advice is still to order as soon as you can rather than risking leaving it too late. 

If you’re ordering for delivery, please make sure we receive your order by the weekend as the final day for posting in stock items will be Monday 20th.

Okay that’s the update folks! If you’re stuck for gift inspo, take a look at our Gift Guide or drop us a line and we’ll be very happy to help.

Posted on

Extended Opening Hours in December

We’ll be open for longer hours than usual throughout much of December, and we wanted to give you plenty of notice to help plan those order collections 📚

Thu 16: 10:30 – 20:00
Fri 17: 10:30 – 20:00
Sun 19: 10:00 – 18:00
Mon 20 : 10:30 – 20:00
Tue 21: 10:30 – 20:00
Wed 22 : 10:30 – 20:00
Thu 23: 10:30 – 20:00
Fri 24: 10.30 – 16:00

Please see our regular hours for all others days, and note that we will be closed on 25, 26, and 27 December 🎄🎁🧑‍🎄

We’re loving working through your big order lists folks, keep ‘em coming!

Rice & Peas and Fish & Chips: Pauline Campbell in Conversation with Corrina Antrobus

25 November 2021 @ 7:00 pm 8:30 pm GMT


Join us when we celebrate the recent publication of Pauline Campbell’s groundbreaking hybrid-memoir, RICE & PEAS AND FISH & CHIPS. Pauline will be joined in conversation by Corrina Antrobus.

Part memoir, part commentary, this book reflects on race and racism, identity and belonging, set against the historical, political and social climate of twentieth-century Britain to the present day, along with a personal exploration of what it means to be British as a first-generation immigrant child of Caribbean parents.

Pauline Campbell was brought up on Rice and Peas and Fish and Chips after her parents crossed thousands of miles, leaving the warm shores of the Caribbean, to settle in Britain. In this book Pauline will take the reader on a journey into where her generation has been. A generation of people who at their birth had no idea that the subsequent political events that were taking place throughout their young and adult lives would lead to a tsunami of inequality. It would have a rippling effect on not just them, but the generations that followed, as they along with other immigrants would become pawns in a horrifying game used to secure votes for Labour, Conservatives and rightwing groups. They would be denied the very equality any human should have regardless of the colour of their skin.

Pauline Campbell is a lawyer and writer that grew up in north and east London to Jamaican parents. After qualifying as a lawyer at the age of 41, she worked in a senior legal position for Hackney Borough for over 14 years, and currently works for Waltham Forest. She supervises The Windrush Justice Clinic, which provides free legal advice and prepares Windrush Compensation claims for victims of the Windrush scandal. Pauline has written on race and identity, including her short story “Rice and Peas and Fish and Chips’ which was published in the London Reader in spring 2020. RICE & PEAS AND FISH & CHIPS is her first full length work of non-fiction.

Corrina Antrobus is a writer from Hackney. She is the founder of Bechdel Test Fest, a feminist film festival established in 2014, and is a regular film contributor to Empire magazine and the Picturehouse Podcast, and has been Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch film presenter since 2019. Corrina is now Arts and Culture Cultural Development Manager for Hackney, and currently programmes the borough’s Black History Season as well as other community arts festivals and initiatives for Hackney.

St. Thomas’ Church, Clapton Common

1 Clapton Terrace
London, E5 9BW United Kingdom
+ Google Map
View Venue Website


The main hall is accessed via a total of 8 steps with a handrail on the right side. Seating at our events is unreserved, but please contact us if having a reserved seat would be helpful to you.

Wheelchair users can access the hall via a wheelchair lift located in the garden, rather than from the church’s main entrance. The lift may require assistance to operate, so please feel free to contact us in advance of the event if you’d like to arrange this, or equally please speak to any team member at the event.

There are two gender-neutral toilets in the main hall, one of which is wheelchair-accessible.

If there is anything at all we can do to help make the event more comfortable for you, please contact us and we will do our very best to help both in advance and during the event.

Posted on

Musa Okwonga and Tayo Popoola in Conversation

“Sometimes you forget you are in this migrant body, then the news reminds you.”

Musa Okwonga reads from IN THE END, IT WAS ALL ABOUT LOVE earlier this month at the shop. If you weren’t one of the lucky few that managed to score a ticket for Musa’s event with Tayo Popoola, we’ve just shared a recording of their incredible discussion to YouTube.

Watch below relive a very special conversation exploring radical vulnerability, love, race, loneliness, and family that we felt enormously fortunate to host.

Enormous thanks once again to Musa, Tayo, Rough Trade Books, and everyone that joined us on the night!

The Brutish Museums: Dan Hicks in Conversation with Errol Francis

11 November 2021 @ 6:30 pm 8:00 pm GMT


We’re incredibly excited to welcome Dan Hicks to BSix College to discuss his groundbreaking book THE BRUTISH MUSEUMS as part of their Knowledge Is Power programme. Described as ‘a game-changer’ and ‘a long-awaited treatise on justice’, Dan’s book has played a crucial role in moving forward recent discussions of institutional decolonisation and cultural restitution, and we’re really looking forward to what promises to be an unmissable conversation with artist and curator Errol Francis.

Walk into any Western museum today and you will see the curated spoils of Empire. They sit behind plate glass: dignified, tastefully lit. Accompanying pieces of card offer a name, date and place of origin. They do not mention that the objects are all stolen.

Few artefacts embody this history of rapacious and extractive colonialism better than the Benin Bronzes – a collection of thousands of metal plaques and sculptures depicting the history of the Royal Court of the Obas of Benin City, Nigeria. Pillaged during a British naval attack in 1897, the loot was passed on to Queen Victoria, the British Museum and countless private collections.

THE BRUTISH MUSEUMS sits at the heart of a heated debate about cultural restitution, repatriation and the decolonisation of museums. Since its first publication, museums across the western world have begun to return their Bronzes to Nigeria, heralding a new era in the way we understand the collections of empire we once took for granted.

Dan Hicks is Professor of Contemporary Archaeology at the University of Oxford, Curator at the Pitt Rivers Museum, and a Fellow of St Cross College, Oxford. His award-winning research focuses on decolonisation in art and culture, and academic disciplines, and on the role of cultural whiteness in ongoing histories of colonial violence and dispossession.

Errol Francis was appointed CEO of Culture& in 2016. He was programme manager at Arts Council England, Inspire Curatorial Fellowship Programme; Head of Arts at the Mental Health Foundation and artistic director of the highly acclaimed Anxiety Arts Festival London 2014, Acting Out Nottingham 2015 and Hysteria 2017-2018 public engagement programmes. He is Visiting Professor at the University of West London. Errol was awarded his PhD from the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London, where his research focused on postcolonial artistic responses to museums. He was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Letters from the University of West London in 2017.

BSix College

Kenninghall Rd
London, E5 8BP United Kingdom
+ Google Map
View Venue Website


The theatre at BSix is fully wheelchair accessible, and is located on the ground floor with step-free access. There are accessible mens, womens, and gender neutral toilets located very close to the theatre entrance. A small PA system with microphones will be used to ensure that the speakers can be heard comfortably throughout the theatre.

In The End, It Was All About Love: Musa Okwonga in Conversation with Tayo Popoola

1 November 2021 @ 7:00 pm 8:30 pm GMT


We’re feeling incredibly fortunate to be welcoming Musa Okwonga for what promises to be an unmissable discussion with Tayo Popoola. Tickets for this in-person event are very limited, so please ensure you book very soon if you’d like to join us!


The narrator arrives in Berlin, a place famed for its hedonism, to find peace and maybe love; only to discover that the problems which have long haunted him have arrived there too, and are more present than ever. As he approaches his fortieth birthday, nearing the age where his father was killed in a brutal revolution, he drifts through this endlessly addictive and sometimes mystical city, through its slow days and bottomless nights, wondering whether he will ever escape the damage left by his father’s death. With the world as a whole more uncertain, as both the far-right and global temperatures rise at frightening speed, he finds himself fighting a fierce inner battle against his turbulent past, for a future free of his fear of failure, of persecution, and of intimacy.

IN THE END, IT WAS ALL ABOUT LOVE is a journey of loss and self-acceptance that takes its nameless narrator all the way through bustling Berlin to his roots, a quiet village on the Uganda-Sudan border. It is a bracingly honest story of love, sexuality and spirituality, of racism, dating, and alienation; of fleeing the greatest possible pain, and of the hopeful road home.

Musa Okwonga is a writer, broadcaster and musician. The co-host of the Stadio football podcast, he has published one collection of poetry and three books about football, the first of which, A Cultured Left Foot, was nominated for the 2008 William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award. His work has appeared in various outlets, including Africa Is A Country, Byline TimesForeign PolicyGuardianThe New York TimesThe Economist and The Ringer.  One of Them: An Eton College Memoir was published this spring by Unbound, and In The End, It Was All About Love was longlisted for The Gordon Burn Prize. He lives in Berlin.

Tayo Popoola is an award winning audio producer, presenter, DJ  and podcaster. He makes documentaries for  BBC from music to politics, and most recently, the narrative football podcast GIANT for Spotify. He also co-hosts the Arsenal podcast The Tuesday Club.

Please note that this event will be recorded, and will be available to watch via YouTube at a later date.


Pages of Hackney

70 Lower Clapton Road
London, E5 0RN United Kingdom
+ Google Map
020 8525 1452
View Venue Website

Dark Neighbourhood: Vanessa Onwuemezi in Conversation with Kayo Chingonyi

25 October 2021 @ 7:00 pm 8:30 pm BST


Join us for the first in-person event held at Pages of Hackney for over 18 months! We’re incredibly excited to be welcoming Vanessa Onwuemezi to discuss her phenomenal debut collection of short fiction, DARK NEIGHBOURHOOD, with poet Kayo Chingonyi. Tickets are very limited, so please ensure you book very soon if you’d like to join us.

In her brilliantly inventive debut collection, Vanessa Onwuemezi takes readers on a surreal and haunting journey through a landscape on the edge of time. At the border with another world, a line of people wait for the gates to open; on the floor of a lonely room, a Born Winner runs through his life’s achievements and losses; in a suburban garden, a man witnesses a murder that pushes him out into the community. Struggling to realize the human ideals of love and freedom, the characters ofDARK NEIGHBOURHOOD roam instead the depths of alienation, loss and shame. With a detached eye and hallucinatory vision, they observe the worlds around them as the line between dream and reality dissolves and they themselves begin to fragment. Electrifying and heady, and written with a masterful lyrical precision,DARK NEIGHBOURHOOD heralds the arrival of a strikingly original new voice in fiction.

Vanessa Onwuemezi is a writer and poet living in London. Her work has appeared in Prototype, frieze and Five Dials. Her story ‘At the Heart of Things’ won the The White Review Short Story Prize 2019. Dark Neighbourhood is her debut short story collection.

Kayo Chingonyi was born in Zambia in 1987, and moved to the UK at the age of six. He is the author of the poetry collection A Blood Condition (Chatto Poetry) and a forthcoming work of non-fiction Prodigal (Picador). His first full-length collection, Kumukanda, won the Dylan Thomas Prize and a Somerset Maugham Award and was shortlisted for the Costa Poetry Prize. It was also shortlisted for the Seamus Heaney Centre First Poetry Collection Prize, the Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry, the Roehampton Poetry Prize and the Jhalak Prize. Kayo is a fellow of the Complete Works programme for diversity and quality in British Poetry, was a Burgess Fellow at the Centre for New Writing, University of Manchester, was awarded a Geoffrey Dearmer Prize and was an Associate Poet at The Institute of Contemporary Arts, London. He has performed his work at festivals and events around the world, is Poetry Editor for The White Review, and an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Durham University.


Pages of Hackney