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Arachne Press twins with Roundtable Books for Independent Bookshop Week 2023

By Georgia Appleyard, Olivia Ek and Conor Hodges


This year, Independent Bookshop Week will return, running from 17 to 24 June. Launched in 2006, Independent Bookshop Week is part of the Books Are My Bag campaign by the Booksellers Association, which represents over 95% of booksellers in the UK and Ireland.


Through the ‘Indie Twinning’ initiative, an independent bookshop can partner with an independent publisher to curate a bespoke plan of events during Independent Bookshop Week.


This year, Lewisham publisher Arachne Press will join forces with Brixton-based Round Table Books. Arachne Press is an independent publisher specialising in poetry anthologies and collections as well as short-form fiction. Round Table Books is an inclusion-led bookshop selling books for both children and adults, producing transformative workshops and events.


Meera Ghanshamdas of Round Table Books said “Arachne’s focus on LGBTQ+ and disabled writers, as well as their championing of Global Majority Writers, sits really well with the aims and ethos of our organisation.”


Together, the partnership will host a series of four in-person events featuring authors and books which reflect Arachne Press’s focus on inclusive and innovative publishing. Events include:


Sunday 18 June, 6:30 p.m.: Writers from Arachne Press anthology Where We Find Ourselves: Poems and Stories of Maps and Mapping from UK writers of the global majority. Writers will read their own works from the anthology and one other work and discuss their inspiration and reason for choosing the other to share.


Monday 19 June, 6:30 p.m.: Writing LGBTQ+ Joy with poet Jeremy Dixon. Join poet and co-editor of Arachne Press’ LGBTQ+ anthology, Joy/Us for a workshop on writing queer joy. The workshop is suitable for all levels, and is an opportunity to explore the theme of queer joy. The submission deadline for the anthology is 11 October, so participants may submit their poems for the anthology.


Tuesday 20 June, 6:30 p.m.: Poetry reading with AJ Akoto. AJ Akoto gives a pre-publication reading from her debut poetry collection, UnMothered, which captures the complexities of the mother-daughter bond through storytelling and myth. The reading is followed by a Q&A session with the Co-Director of Round Table Books, Meera Ghanshamdas.


Thursday 22 June, 8 p.m.: Poet Rhiya Pau reads from her award-winning debut collection, Routes. The collection explores the routes taken by the poet’s parents and grandparents to arrive in the UK, revealing the conflicts of identity that arise from being part of the East African-Indian diaspora.


All the events are free to attend. Book your place here.


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