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Book Event: Richard Williams on his new book, The Road – A Guide to Crossing the Nepal Himalayas by Bike

Come and join us on Tuesday 25 June at 7pm (doors open at 6:30) for the launch of The Road – A Guide to Crossing the Nepal Himalayas by Bike; a guidebook which aims to bust the myth that Nepal is only an extreme travel destination. The book provides a step by step guide to crossing the 1650km Middle Himalayan range (1000-3000m) by gravel or mountain bike. As well as a guidebook, the book also serves as a travelogue, with stories, anecdotes and stunning photos of daily life in this little visited part of the Himalayan mountains. We will be joined by the author, Richard Williams, and mountain biking legend Christoph Sauser (who wrote the foreword to the book), who will be in conversation with Matthew about this epic adventure. Light refreshments will be provided. All book profits will go to supporting projects in Nepal through the Swiss-based Driftwood Association that Rich established: driftwoodassociation.org.

Event: Kathleen Jamie at UNIL — May 7th, 2024

Calling all poetry lovers! Kathleen Jamie will be at UNIL on Tuesday, May 7th for Conversations Towards Nature. BLDG Geopolis, Room 227, at 17:15. Admission is free. Kathleen Jamie, poet and essayist, is one of the leading voices in environmental writing in the UK today. Her books meditate deeply and movingly on the relation between human communities and the natural world, and is currently Makar (Poet Laureate of Scotland). Her latest volume of poetry, Cairn, is published by Sort of Books (2024). The bookshop will have a stand there, so stop by and say hello!

Poetry Reading: Girl in Tulips by Julianne DiNenna

Julianne DiNenna will be in the bookshop on Thursday, April 25th to read from her recently published book of poetry, Girl in Tulips and other Non-Communicable Family Diseases. Doors will open at 18:30, with the reading to commence at 19:00. Please sign up here if you plan to attend. Girl in Tulips is part lyric, part incantation and prayer, part memoir of love and longing. We travel into the underworld of wards with intimacy, wonder, provocation, observing the intricacies of family relationships while tottering on the edge of hope, as DiNenna’s poems take us through the zodiac and seasons of childhood illness, calling us to bear witness to the unseen, the unheard. These poems tell the story of one girl’s struggle for life, the sacredness of childhood and innocence, with tenderness, astonishment, and transformation.

May 23rd: Printed Books in the Digital Age: A Conversation with Jonathan Simons of the Analog Sea

Rebelling against the idea that ‘If you’re not online, you don’t exist,’ Jonathan created a pocket-sized review which collects together poetry, essays, fiction, illustration and fine art for those “wishing to maintain contemplative life in the digital age.’” Editions are only available in print and exclusively in bookshops. All correspondence with the publisher is conducted by post rather, and their single webpage simply lists two mailing addresses, one in Freibury Germany, the other in Austin, Texas.  Matthew will be chatting to Jonathan on Tuesday, 23rd May at the bookshop on the role and relevance of Printed Books in the Digital Age. Doors open at 18.00 and we’ll start the conversation at around 19.00.  If you would like to join us – and I hope you will! – please sign up via Doodle – or send us a letter. As always, there will be drinks and snacks and friendly people to chat to (plus a bookshop to explore).  Jonathan Simons is the founding editor of offline publishing house Analog Sea and its literary journal, The Analog Sea Review. As a poet and essayist, he has written for publications including The London Magazine, PN Review, El País, subTerrain Magazine, and The Analog Sea Review. His work has been covered by,…

Christmas Opening Times – Horaires de Noël

Thank you for all your support this year. Please note the shop will be closed from noon, 24th December until 9am, 3rd January. Rachel and I will be catching up on our reading. Merci pour tout votre soutien cette année. Veuillez noter que la boutique sera fermée du 24 décembre à midi au 3 janvier à 9 heures. Rachel et moi allons rattraper nos lectures.

Paul Scraton at the bookshop – Friday, 24th June

A while ago I got a subscription to an independent publisher in the UK called Influx Press. I read the quietly brilliant The Country Will Bring Us No Peace (Matthieu Simard), then Steve Hollyman’s Lairies, which seemed to be my life in the 90’s reflected back to me. Then I got in the post a slim book with a strange black and white photograph on the cover… . This was In the Pines by Paul Scraton and I was an instant convert. It is a collection stories that take place in an unnamed town surrounded by pines and infused with burning nostalgia. Reading it made me feel as if my favourite characters from the books I read in my twenties had grown into slightly damaged yet nuanced adults who could not help but pick at the scars of their younger selves. The black and white photograph on the cover was taken in collaboration with Eymelt Sehmer, using a 170-year-old technique of collodion wet plate photography and there are more photographs within. One of the delights of this book is the way the narrative of the text and the medium of the photos speak to each other, as if to highlight…

Paul Lynch at the Bookshop – 20th May

I first interviewed Paul Lynch around seven years ago when his novel Black Snow was a finalist for the French Prix du Meilleur Livre Étranger. I loved the book, his so-called Irish farm story from the author who had promised himself that he’d never write an Irish farm story; complex, dark, atmospheric, with hints Manly Hopkins. After Black Snow I couldn’t wait to read his next books, Grace – which the Washington Post described as, “a moving work of lyrical and at times hallucinatory beauty” – and Beyond the Sea, his story of two fisherman washed out to sea which, on recent reading, felt like the perfect book for our pandemic times with its theme of forced isolation and its aftermath. Paul will be at the bookshop on Friday, 20th May to talk about his writing. Doors open at 7pm. This is an event not to be missed, and not just for the free booze. Paul’s a talented and thoughtful writer and a great speaker. Message us if you plan to come!

Bibliotopia 2022

The annual Bibliotopia literature festival at the Jan Michalski Foundation is almost upon us. Between the weekend of 13th – 15th May writers from around world will be at the Foundation talking about their work under the theme of  ‘Care’.  The programme is now online and tickets tend to sell out quite quickly. The events are multilingual with simultaneous translations. Perhaps most striking is the event on Saturday evening with Ukrainian writers Serhiy Zhadan and Andrey Kurkov, the former speaking directly from Kharkiv, and the latter from New York.

Book Event: Jo Ann Hansen Rasch’s New Collection of Poetry

Jo Ann Hansen Rasch was one of the first – if not the first – writer we had at the bookshop, so it’s a great pleasure to have her back some 12 years later for the launch of her second poetry collection Dancing Light Sings. Born during the dramas of the last two or three years, the poems span a lifetime, revealing not only lighter moments, but darker legacies too. Jo Ann’s poetry is personal and written in simple confident language. Born in New Zealand, but living most of her adult life in Lutry, she has published a memoir, a book of poetry and many essays, short stories and poems. The event is taking place on Saturday, 9th April. We will serve light refreshments from 18.30 and the reading will start at 19.00. Please sign up here if you wish to attend.