Five Leaves is well known as being a serious political and literary publisher, as this picture from our end of year event shows. With so many of our writers present, it would have been invidious to have picked out particular writers to promote their own books, so a mixture of writers, readers and friends read from the Five Leaves' backlist, from absent friends as it were. These included politico David Rosenberg reading from Roland Camberton's humorous novel; retired solicitor Barrie Ward reading a section from Baron's Court, All Change about smoking dope for the first time; Deirdre O'Byrne coming over all celtic; publisher John Lucas reading from Swimmer in the Secret Sea; playwright Michael Eaton channelling Ray Gosling; journalist Julia Bard reading Bernard Kops' poem Whitechapel Library, Aldgate East in support of libraries (the subject of a local Five Leaves/UNISON campaign this year). Oh, and the anarchist tattooed biker Heather Nelson reading a poem about fairies, joined by me, fresh from flower arranging classes. And Myra Woolfson made 180 pieces of cake.
It was a good opportunity to thank - and to repeat that thanks here - to those who keep Five Leaves going. The gathering included writers, editors, those from the technical side, other publishers, UNISON stewards, local press, librarians and a small group of people (you know who you are) to whom Pippa and I turn for advice, or, in my case, to moan about trade matters. There'll be a more formal annual report later.