‘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.

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

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Tice Cin in Conversation with Lola Olufemi

Sad because you missed out on tickets for the launch of Tice Cin’s KEEPING THE HOUSE with Lola Olufemi a couple of weeks ago? Well, you can turn that frown around, because the whole event is now available to watch online.

Tice and Lola’s discussion of the book’s unique exploration of the Turkish Cypriot underworld of North London received one of the most rapturous rounds of applause we can remember in some time!

Huge thanks to Tice and Lola, Nicky at And Other Stories, Father William Taylor at St. Thomas’ Church, Martine Sobey at Clapton Commons, and Lou Palmer for recording and production.

Keep an eye out for more of this kind of thing in the coming weeks and months, and in the meantime make sure you grab KEEPING THE HOUSE, which is in stock and available to order for collection or nationwide delivery.

Small Bodies of Water: Nina Mingya Powles in Conversation with Pema Monaghan

Virtual Event Virtual Event

13 September 2021 @ 7:30 pm 8:30 pm BST


Join us when we welcome Nina Mingya Powles for a virtual event to celebrate the arrival of her extraordinary new book, SMALL BODIES OF WATER. Nina will be joined in conversation by Pema Monaghan, and the event will be streaming via Instagram Live.

Home is many people and places and languages, some separated by oceans.

Nina Mingya Powles first learned to swim in Borneo – where her mother was born and her grandfather studied freshwater fish. There, the local swimming pool became her first body of water. Through her life there have been others that have meant different things, but have still been, in their own way, home: from the wild coastline of New Zealand to a pond in northwest London.

This lyrical collection of interconnected essays explores the bodies of water that separate and connect us, as well as everything from migration, food, family, earthquakes and the ancient lunisolar calendar to butterflies. In powerful prose, Small Bodies of Water weaves together personal memories, dreams and nature writing. It reflects on a girlhood spent growing up between two cultures, and explores what it means to belong.

Nina Mingya Powles is a writer, editor and publisher from Aotearoa New Zealand. She is the author of three poetry collections, including Magnolia, which was shortlisted for both the Ondaatje Prize and the Forward Prize; and Tiny Moons: A Year of Eating in Shanghai. In 2019 she won the Nan Shepherd Prize for Small Bodies of Water, and in 2018 she won the Women Poets’ Prize. She is the founding editor of Bitter Melon. Nina was born in Aotearoa, partly grew up in China, and now lives in London.

Pema Monaghan is a Tibetan-Australian writer and journalist living in London. She has recently written for New Rules: Play during the Pandemicthe Willowherb ReviewAche magazine, gal-dem, and Extra Teeth magazine. Along with the artist Oscar Price, Pema runs Takeaway Press, a small house that publishes collaborations between artists and writers.

Keeping the House: Tice Cin in Conversation with Lola Olufemi

7 September 2021 @ 7:00 pm 8:30 pm BST


Tice Cin discusses her electrifying debut novel, a story of community, migration, and love told via the Turkish Cypriot underworld of North London

To mark the return of our much-missed in-person events programme, we are absolutely delighted to be welcoming Tice Cin to read from and discuss her incredible debut novel, KEEPING THE HOUSE. Tice will be joined in conversation by Lola Olufemi, a pairing that feels perfect for our first in-person event since February 2020, and we’d love it if you could be there!

The Turkish variety are prized for their enlarged leaf bud; that’s where we put the heroin . . .

Ayla has a plan. There’s a stash of heroin; just waiting to be imported. No one seems sure what to do with it; but Ayla’s a gardener; and she knows.

From secretive men’s clubs to spotless living rooms; KEEPING THE HOUSE is an electrifying debut that lifts the lid on a covert world. But just as it offers a fresh take on the London drug trade and its machinery; it tells the story of three women in one house: a grandmother; a mother; and the daughter; each dealing with the intricacies and reverberations of community; migration and love.

[Read an excerpt of KEEPING THE HOUSE]

Tice Cin is an interdisciplinary artist from north London. A London Writers Award-winner, her work has been published by Extra Teeth and Skin Deep and commissioned by places like Battersea Arts Centre and St Paul’s Cathedral. An alumnus of Barbican Young Poets, she now creates digital art as part of Design Yourself – a collective based at the Barbican Centre – exploring what it means to be human when technology is changing everything. A producer and DJ, she is releasing an EP, Keeping the House, to accompany her debut novel of the same name.

Lola Olufemi is a black feminist writer and CREAM/Stuart Hall foundation researcher from London. Her work focuses on the uses of the feminist imagination and its relationship to cultural production, political demands and futurity. She is author of Feminism Interrupted: Disrupting Power (2020), Experiments in Imagining Otherwise, forthcoming from Hajar Press in 2021 and a member of ‘bare minimum’, an interdisciplinary anti-work arts collective.

Venue Information

We’ve waited until now in order to ensure that we could host an event that complies with all current Covid-related guidelines, in order to minimise any risks to our audience, participants, and team. We’re delighted to be partnering with St Thomas’ Church, Clapton Common whose Garden Room will provide us with enough space for adequate social distancing as well as some lovely big windows to ensure proper ventilation. We’ll ask that you wear a mask when entering, leaving, and moving around the venue (but feel free to remove it whist seated if you wish).


The Garden Room is adjacent to and accessed via the church’s main hall. 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 Garden Room 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 (adjacent to the Garden Room), one of which is wheelchair-accessible.

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

Splinters of Sunshine: Patrice Lawrence in Conversation with Fen Coles

Virtual Event Virtual Event

31 August 2021 @ 7:30 pm 8:30 pm BST


We’re so excited to be welcoming award-winning author (and long-time friend of Pages) Patrice Lawrence for a virtual event celebrating the arrival of her new YA book, SPLINTERS OF SUNSHINE. Patrice will be joined in conversation via Instagram Live by Fen Coles of Letterbox Library.

I pick up the envelope . . . As I rip down the sides, there’s loads of paper bursting out; stuck on flowers, dandelions, roses . . .

Spey recently received two surprises. The first: his ex-prisoner dad turning up unannounced, and the second: a mysterious package containing torn-up paper flowers.

Spey instantly recognises it as a collage he made with his old friend Dee, and decides she must be in danger, but there are no clues to her whereabouts.

There’s only one person he knows who can help to track her down . . . On a road trip like no other, will Spey and his dad find Dee, before it’s too late?

Patrice Lawrence is a Brighton-born writer fuelled by anger to write stories that pick away at social injustice. (Others call these ‘issue books’, but meh!) She has won the odd prize. Her most recent book for teenagers, SPLINTERS OF SUNSHINE, explores friendship, fatherhood, grief – and wildflowers.

Dr Fen Coles is a co-director at Letterbox Library, a 36-year-old, not-for-profit children’s booksellers specialising in equality, diversity and inclusion. She also co-runs the Little Rebels Award for Radical Children’s Fiction and is on the Steering Committee for the CLPE’s (Centre for Literacy in Primary Education) Reflecting Realities Project.
Before joining Letterbox Library in 2005, Fen worked for over 10 years in the charity sector within several women’s and LGBTQ+ rights organisations and was a tutor in Lesbian Cultural Studies at Warwick University.

Paul: Daisy Lafarge in Conversation with Octavia Bright

Virtual Event Virtual Event

9 August 2021 @ 7:30 pm 8:30 pm BST

Join us when we welcome Daisy Lafarge to read from and discuss her hotly anticipated debut novel, PAUL, with Octavia Bright. The event will be streaming via Instagram Live.

Frances, a young graduate student, is spending a summer volunteering on an eco-farm in rural France. She is hoping that work among sprawling gardens and blissful sunshine will distract her from a scandal that dove her out of Paris, her research unfinished and her sense of self unmoored.

She soon finds herself involved with the farm’s charismatic and domineering owner, Paul. He reciprocates with overwhelming passion and as his hold over her tightens, her plans come unstuck and she finds herself entangled in a disorienting and uneven relationship. They embark on a fraught road trip across the south of France and both are forced to reckon with uncomfortable truths.

PAUL is an atmospheric and compelling story of control, passivity and the cage of being ‘good’.

Daisy Lafarge was born in Hastings and studied at the University of Edinburgh. Her poetry collection LIFE WITHOUT AIR (Granta Poetry, 2020) was shortlisted for the T. S. Eliot Prize. Her visual work has been exhibited in galleries such as Tate St Ives and Talbot Rice Gallery. PAUL, the winner of a Betty Trask Award, is her debut novel.

Dr Octavia Bright is a writer and academic. She has written criticism, fiction, and poetry for a variety of publications. She co-hosts Literary Friction, a monthly literary talk show and podcast about books and ideas, with Carrie Plitt.

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Isabel Waidner in Conversation with Maz Murray

Yesterday evening we welcomed Isabel Waidner for an amazing discussion of their new novel, STERLING KARAT GOLD, with Maz Murray! Catch up below if you missed it, and make sure you grab a copy of the incredible SKG which is in stock now ✨

Huge thanks to Isabel and Maz, Sam at Peninsula Press, and everyone that joined us live. What an absolute treat!


Sterling Karat Gold: Isabel Waidner in Conversation with Maz Murray

Virtual Event Virtual Event

27 July 2021 @ 7:30 pm 8:30 pm BST

Join us when we welcome Isabel Waidner to discuss their phenomenal new novel, STERLING KARAT GOLD, with Maz Murray of The right lube. The conversation will be streaming via Instagram Live.

Sterling is arrested one morning without having done anything wrong. Plunged into a terrifying and nonsensical world, Sterling – with the help of their three best friends – must defy bullfighters, football players and spaceships in order to exonerate themselves and to hold the powers that be to account.

Sterling Karat Gold is Kafka’s The Trial written for the era of gaslighting – a surreal inquiry into the real effects of state violence on gender-nonconforming, working-class and black bodies.

Following the Goldsmiths Prize–nominated We Are Made of Diamond Stuff, Isabel Waidner’s latest novel proposes community, inventiveness and the stubborn refusal to lie low as antidotes against marginalisation and towards better futures.

Isabel Waidner is a writer and academic based in London. They are the author of three novels: Sterling Karat Gold (2021), We Are Made of Diamond Stuff (2019) and Gaudy Bauble (2017). They were shortlisted for the Goldsmiths Prize and the Republic of Consciousness Prize (twice), and won the Internationale Literaturpreis. They are a co-founder of the event series Queers Read This at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA), and the programmer and presenter of This Isn’t a Dream, a fortnightly literary talk show, also hosted by the ICA via Instagram live.

Maz Murray is an artist based in Basildon and London, working mainly in film and writing. They’ve made short films for ICA and Random Acts, and have written for montez press as part of The right lube, a collaborative blog and social space for trans people.

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Natasha Brown in Conversation with Sara Collins

Yesterday evening we welcomed Natasha Brown for a virtual event to discuss her acclaimed debut novel, ASSEMBLY, with Sara Collins! Huge, huge thanks so Natasha and Sara for a very deep and insightful chat, and thanks also to all of you that joined us live ♥️

ASSEMBLY is in stock now and available to order for collection or nationwide delivery, and if you missed the event, you can watch it below.