Events

Coming up:
05/10/22 – MUEUM by SJ Fowler
13/10/22 Vladimir by Julia May Jonas
31/10/22 – Strega by Johanne Lykke Holm
24/11/22 – 111 Places in Essex That You Shouldn’t Miss by Ed Glinert

View past events


05/10/22, 7pm
Tenement Press presents MUEUM
Join us at the bookshop for an evening of readings to mark the publication of SJ Fowler’s debut novella, MUEUM (Tenement Press #4)

‘A mesmerising, bravura meditation on work, power, and subjugation’Luke Kennard

MUEUM—a debut novella from SJ Fowler—compounds his poetry into a curt, crystalline and clear-eyed prose. Stretching the limits of a working week, the novella details the deterioration of a museum from the perspective of an invigilating guard whilst the city beyond the museum’s walls proves subject to an unnameable and unknowable moment of catastrophe. MUEUM examines the dismantling of a public edifice, brick-by-brick, in writing that homes in on this fictitious museum’s structural omissions and deficits.

The event kicks off a broadcast series on Resonance Extra that will serialise the novella in monthly instalments, October through January, and marks the beginning of a season of readings and associated events on and around Fowler’s MUEUM. At the bookshop on October 5th, with introductions from Tenement comrade and collaborator Gareth Evans, we’ll have readings from SJ Fowler, alongside Iain Sinclair, Chris McCabe and Chloe Aridjis.

SJ Fowler is a writer and poet living in London. His collections include Fights (Veer Books, 2011), The Rottweiler’s Guide to the Dog Owner (Eyewear Books, 2014), {Enthusiasm} (Test Centre, 2015), The Guide to Being Bear Aware (Shearsman Books, 2017), I will show you the life of the mind (on prescription drugs) (Dostoyevsky Wannabe, 2020) and The Great Apes (Broken Sleep Books, 2022).

Chris McCabe work spans artforms and genres including poetry, fiction, non-fiction, drama and visual art. His work has been shortlisted for the Ted Hughes Award and the Republic of Consciousness Prize. His latest poetry collection, The Triumph of Cancer is a Poetry Book Society Recommendation and he is the editor of several anthologies including Poems from the Edge of Extinction: An Anthology of Poetry in Endangered Languages.

Chloe Aridjis is the author of three novels, Book of Clouds, which won the Prix du Premier Roman Etranger in France, Asunder, set in London’s National Gallery, and Sea Monsters, which was awarded the 2020 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. Chloe has written for various art journals and was guest curator of the Leonora Carrington exhibition at Tate Liverpool.

Iain Sinclair  is a Welsh writer and filmmaker. Much of his work is rooted in London. He also continues his engagement with small independent presses, publishing Fifty Catacomb Saints with Tangerine Press, and Fever Hammers with Face Press (who are also due to release Mental Travaillers: or, The Battle of the Books. Blake & Latham in Subtle Congress on Peckham Rye).


13/10/22, 7pm
Vladimir by Julia May Jonas

Julia May Jonas in conversation

When I was a child, I loved old men, and I could tell that they also loved me.

Provocative and razor-sharp, Vladimir is a timely debut novel about a beloved English professor facing a slew of accusations against her professor husband by former students – a situation that becomes more complicated when she herself develops an obsession of her own. In this bold, edgy, and uncommonly assured literary debut, Julia May Jonas takes us into charged territory, where the strictures of morality bump up against the impulses of the human heart.

To celebrate the publication of Julia May Jonas’s Vladimir, join us in the bookshop on 13th October where the author will be discussing her acclaimed debut.

‘This deliciously dark American debut’ – Guardian
‘It is delicious to spend so much time with a narrator who wants the way this one does, who wants so badly she’ll send her life up in flames.’ – Vanity Fair

Julia May Jonas is a playwright and teaches theatre at Skidmore College. She holds an MFA in playwriting from Columbia University and lives in Brooklyn with her family. Vladimir is her debut novel.



31/10/22, 7pm
Strega by Johanne Lykke Holm

Johanne Lykke Holm in conversation with Daisy Hildyard

Powerfully inventive and atmospheric, Strega (Translated from Swedish by Saskia Vogel) is a modern gothic story of nine young women on the cusp of inheriting society’s submission to violence, and the age-long myths that uphold it.

A monument to long-dead maids and their shrouded knowledge, Johanne Lykke Holm’s luminescent and jagged prose, delivered in Saskia Vogel’s incisive translation, resonates like a spell that keeps exerting its powers long after reading.

To celebrate the publication of Saskia Vogel’s English language translation of Johanne Lykke Holm’s truly astounding Strega this November, join us in the bookshop on 31st October where the author will be in conversation with Daisy Hildyard.

‘Strega is the kind of book Lolita would write if she wrote like Thomas Mann. This book is sprawling with heart-shaped mirrors in wet grass, peach-coloured bedding, neon lights, knives.’ – Olga Ravn, author of The Employees.

JOHANNE LYKKE HOLM (b. 1987) is an author and translator. Nominated for both the Nordic Council Literature Prize and the European Union Prize for Literature, she is establishing herself among the most promising up-and-coming literary authors in Sweden. She has also translated Yahya Hassan, Josefine Klougart, and Hiromi Itō into Swedish.
Daisy Hildyard’s first novel, Hunters in the Snow, received the Somerset Maugham Award and a ‘5 under 35’ honorarium at the USA National Book Awards. Her essay The Second Body, a brilliantly lucid account of the dissolving boundaries between all life on earth, was published by Fitzcarraldo Editions in 2017. She lives with her family in North Yorkshire, where she was born.



24/11/22, 7pm
111 Places in Essex That You Shouldn’t Miss by Ed Glinert

“Good evening. I’m from Essex, in case you couldn’t tell.” Thus spoke the inimitable punk poet of the flat lands, Ian Dury, in 1977. Few other parts of England have so distinctive an identity, sent up by a hundred comedians since the 1990 birth of Essex Man, epitomised by the rise of the ‘Mockney’ radio celeb, and incarcerated through their hideous offspring in TV’s The Only Way is Essex. It’s not just an accent, it’s a way of life, a culture shaped by the Diaspora from London generation after generation, the lure of the sea and powerful Thames estuary, the encroaching of the waters from innumerable creeks and inlets, the dream seaside resort of Southend, the longing for the most succulent of seafood indulgences, the delicious countryside of copses and boughs painted by Constable, but also the threat of invasion by hostile forces repelled by Britain’s most formidable forts. It’s Essex. You can tell.

Join much-published author and London’s most prolific tour guide Ed Glinert for the launch of his latest book, 111 Places in Essex That You Shouldn’t Miss, a quirky, soi-disant sideways swipe at England’s most misunderstood county, home of the sandiest saltiest seaside resorts, radical architecture and glorious countryside.

Ed Glinert was born in Dalston, just outside London’s East End. He trained as a journalist and founded City Life, Manchester’s what’son and hard news magazine in 1983. In the 1990s he worked for Private Eye magazine, writing the Rotten Boroughs column about council corruption. He has also contributed to the Sunday Times, Independent and the New Statesman. He was launch production editor for Mojo, the rock ‘n’ roll magazine. Glinert has written a number of books for major publishers including The London Compendium (2003) and East End Chronicles (2005). Since 2009 he has run the highly successful New Manchester Walks tour company. He also guides in London and Liverpool.


Past Events

25/8/22, 7pm
An Evening with Hayden Thorpe

To celebrate the launch of the Full Moon Chronicles Zine, join Hayden Thorpe in the bookshop for an acoustic set alongside readings from the new Full Moon Chronicles Zine!

The Full Moon Chronicles Zine is a collection of Hayden’s essays written over the past few years, bringing them together as a physical artefact for the first time.

‘The competition for space in the tightly bound medium of song means that words are often leftover, unspoken, like good fruit going uneaten. Full Moon Chronicles Zine is made from the spilling over of that abundance. It’s a collection of written pieces and photographs that came about through various commissions or self-determined curiosities during the time I was making and promoting Moondust For My Diamond. The launch event will involve words and music – I’ll be doing an acoustic performance as well as giving a reading. I’d love you to join me for this special evening.’ – Hayden Thorpe


21/07/22, 7pm
The Coward – Jarred McGinnis

To celebrate the paperback publication of his debut novel, The Coward, Jarred McGinnis returns to East London to talk at the bookshop. Published in paperback on 7th July, The Coward is a compelling and darkly humorous exploration of what it means to come to terms with a broken body, rebuild a broken relationship and find love when it seems like there is no hope.


14/07/22, 7pm
The Tree People – Sanchita Islam

Millions of years ago, the Tree World was tended and nurtured by the Tree People, until one day, two dragons decided to destroy this glorious land. Who is going to win this fight to save the trees…?

Inspired by the climate crisis, The Tree People is Sanchita Islam’s first children’s book. Join us in the bookshop for the launch of this limited edition, hand-painted book – a title that will appeal to adults and children alike!

Sanchita is the author of eleven books, alongside being a filmmaker and artist. She has been running Pigment Explosion, a non-profit arts organisation, since 1999.


04/07/2022
Cut Short – Ciaran Thapar
Ciaran Thapar in conversation with Francisco Garcia

Join authors Ciaran Thapar and Francisco Garcia as they discuss Ciaran’s book Cut Short: Why we’re failing our youth — and how to fix it, which is published in paperback on 30th June. Described as “devastating” by Candice Carty-Williams and “inspiring” by Ed Miliband, Cut Short is a story about Ciaran’s time as a youth worker in south London, zooming in on a cast of heroic characters at the sharp end of austerity.


19/05/2022
Reward System
Jem Calder
Jem Calder in conversation with Nicole Flattery

Join us at the bookshop for an evening with Jem Calder and Nicole Flattery as they discuss Jem’s debut collection, Reward System.

For fans of Jenny Offill and Patricia Lockwood, audacious fictions of a generation wondering: what now? Reward System is a set of ultra-contemporary and electrifyingly fresh stories, of a generation meshed in Zooms and lockdowns, loneliness and love.

‘An exhilarating and beautiful book by an extraordinarily gifted writer. Reading these stories, I found myself thinking newly and differently about contemporary life’ – Sally Rooney
‘A crushing and clear-sighted portrayal of people dodging the alienation of work, money and life’s digital shorelines, told through short scenes so brilliantly observed I felt the reality of a generation in every detail’ – Holly Pester

Jem Calder was born in Cambridge, and lives and works in London. His fiction has been published in The Stinging Fly and Granta. Reward System is his first book.
Nicole Flattery’s work has been published in the Stinging Fly, the White Review, the Dublin Review, BBC Radio 4, the Irish Times, Winter Papers and the 2019 Faber anthology of new Irish writing. Her story ‘Track’ won the 2017 White Review Short Story Prize. She lives in Galway.


11/5/22, 7pm
2022 Republic of Consciousness Prize Announcement 

Join us at the bookshop from 7PM for the prize-giving ceremony for the 2022 Republic of Consciousness Prize!

The Republic of Consciousness supports, promotes and celebrates small presses in the UK and Ireland; each year the prize rewards the best fiction published by publishers with fewer than 5 full-time employees. You can read more about the prize on their website.

This year’s shortlist:

Daunt Books for Our Lady of the Nile by Scholastique Mukasonga, translated by Melanie Mauthner.

Fitzcarraldo Editions for Dark Neighbourhood by Vanessa Onwuemezi.

Fum D’Estampa Press for The Song of Youth by Montserrat Roig, translated by Tiago Miller.

Peninsula Press for Sterling Karat Gold by Isabel Waidner.

Tilted Axis Press for Happy Stories, Mostly by Norman Erikson Pasaribu, translated by Tiffany Tsao.


14/4/22, 7pm
If You Were There: Missing People and the Marks They Leave BehindFrancisco Garcia
Francisco Garcia in conversation with Amelia Tait

Join us for an evening with journalist and writer Francisco Garcia and journalist Amelia Tait as they discuss Francisco’s book, If You Were There: Missing People and the Marks They Leave Behind. A powerful, evocative and deeply personal journey into the world of missing people, If You Were There tells the story of Francisco’s search for his missing father.

When Francisco Garcia was just seven years old, his father, Christobal, left his family in the dead of night. Unemployed, addicted to drink and drugs, and adrift in life, Christobal decided he would rather disappear altogether than carry on dealing with the problems in front of him. He has been missing ever since. Twenty years on, Francisco is ready to take up the search for answers. Why did this happen and how could it be possible? Where might his father have gone? And is there any reason to hope for a happy reunion?

Francisco Garcia is a writer and journalist with The Guardian, Financial Times, VICE, New Statesman, Rolling Stone and many others. His first book, If You Were: Missing People and the Marks They Leave Behind, was published by HarperCollins in May 2021. He is currently working on a second non-fiction title for the same publishers, among other projects.

Amelia Tait is a freelance features journalist for The Guardian, The New York Times, New Statesman, Wired and GQ, among others. In 2020, she was named one of Forbes 30 Under 30 in Europe. She is known for writing about the unusual, the unexplainable, and the weird.


6/4/22, 7pm
Dark NeighbourhoodVanessa Onwuemezi
Wilder Winds – Bel Olid
Vanessa Onwuemezi and Bel Olid in conversation with Jorge Gárriz

Join us for an evening with Catalan writer and translator Bel Olid, and writer and poet Vanessa Onwuemezi as they discuss their short story collections, Wilder Winds and Dark Neighbourhood. Bel and Vanessa will be joined by the host, Jorge Gárriz.

Vanessa Onwuemezi is a writer and poet living in London. Her work has appeared in Granta, Prototype, frieze and Five Dials. Her story ‘At the Heart of Things’ won the White Review Short Story Prize 2019. Her short story collection Dark Neighbourhood, was published by Fitzcarraldo in 2021. In Dark Neighbourhood, 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 of Dark Neighbourhood roam instead the depths of alienation, loss and shame. Dark Neighbourhood was longlisted for the 2022 Republic of Consciousness Prize.

Bel Olid is a Catalan writer, translator, and teacher of language, literature, translation, and creative writing. They have received several literary prizes, among them the 2010 Documenta Award. Since March 2015 they have been the president of the Associació d’Escriptors en Llengua Catalana. Their book, Wilder Winds, was translated into English by Laura McGloughlin and published by Fum d’Estampa Press in 2022. In Wilder Winds, Bel presents a stunning collection of short stories that draw on notions of individual freedom, abuses of power, ingrained social violence, life on the outskirts of society, and inevitable differences. Alongside these are small acts of kindness capable of changing the world and making it a better place.



25/11/21, 7pm
Things We Do Not Tell The People We LoveHuma Qureshi
Huma Qureshi in conversation with Natasha Lunn

Join us for an evening with award-winning writer Huma Qureshi in conversation with Natasha Lunn, to mark the publication of Huma’s exquisite and moving debut short story collection, Things We Do Not Tell The People We Love.

Each story deals with individual relationships, exploring their intricacies and nuances with tenderness. A daughter asks her mother to shut up, only to shut her up for good; an exhausted wife walks away from the husband who doesn’t understand her; on holiday, lovers no longer understand each other away from home. Stories of mothers and daughters, children lost, unborn, grown up, grown apart, and the dissonance between lovers – Things We Do Not Tell The People We Love exposes the parts of ourselves we rarely reveal. Intertwined within this exquisite collection are themes of loneliness, secrets, family, and displacement, as well as the desire to belong to someone or to some place, and a yearning for love.

Huma Qureshi is an award-winning writer, and a former Observer and Guardian reporter. Her memoir How We Met: A Memoir of Love and Other Misadventures was published in January 2021 by Elliott & Thompson, to critical acclaim, chosen by Stylist as one of 2021’s best non-fiction. She is the winner of the 2020 Harper’s Bazaar Short Story Prize. She is now writing her first novel, an enchanting story about family, belonging and identity. She lives in London.

Huma will be in conversation with Natasha Lunn. Natasha is the features director at RED magazine and the creator of a popular and acclaimed bimonthly email newsletter, Conversations on Love. She is also the author of the Conversations on Love book. After years of interviewing people about their relationships, Natasha learnt that questions about love are often rooted in three bigger ones: How do we find love? How do we sustain it? And how do we survive when we lose it?


3/11/21, 7pm
2021 Brick Lane Bookshop Short Story Prize Anthology
Prize ceremony and launch

This year’s anthology is out now!
 Winner Aoife Inman reads her story ‘Earth-Grown Bodies’
Elise Dillsworth (L) announces the winners alongside Prize Project Manager Kate Ellis

Our first event since the pandemic was to launch the 2021 edition of our Short Story Prize Anthology. It was a real joy to have an in-person audience back in the shop and to feel the excitement surrounding this year’s book.

Huge congratulations to Aoife Inman, WINNER of the 2021 Brick Lane Bookshop Short Story Prize – and to runners up Danielle Vrublevskis and Katherine Gutierrez!

This year’s anthology is available to buy here.


Short Story Prize 2020

In lieu of our Short Story Prize book launch and prize giving event in 2020, we asked our six short listed writers to record readings for us. You can watch them here:
Chameleon – Rea Dennhardt
Fix – K. Lockwood Jefford
No Phones at the Dinner Table – Jack Houston
Small Differences – Huma Qureshi
To Those Born Later – Kieran Toms
The Closed Door – Alice Haworth-Booth


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