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Bookshop Day! Outsideleft & the Bear Bookshop team up for an evening of great entertainment

Bookshop Day!

Outsideleft & the Bear Bookshop team up for an evening of great entertainment

by Ancient Champion, Columnist
first published: October, 2023

approximate reading time: minutes

"This is a brilliant event at Bear Bookshop for sure..." DJ Prehistoric Man


We’re teaming up with our local community bookstore, the Bear Bookshop, to celebrate Bookshop Day on Saturday October 14th. It seems like Bookshop Day might’ve been instituted to remind us what a dying breed of indie bookshop was. And yet here these enclaves are, thriving, pushing back against the big box stores by constantly emphasising their value in their communities by, well, let’s see, at Jenny McCann’s Bear Bookshop, getting any book you want within a matter of days to hosting everything from kids early morning stay and plays to an Outsideleft Quiet Night Out which began with a middle-aged poet shouting “You Cunts,” at an unsuspecting audience. Although in fairness from the snatch of conversation I heard, not all book buyers were perturbed…

Customer to Author, “Is that word in your book?”
Author, “When it is published, yes it will be.”
Customer, “When can I get it?”

Wayne Dean Richards' Outsideleft booklet, It’s A Mad World But Funny will be available alongside his other books on Saturday. While there’ll be great events going on in store all day long, the bit of the day we are most majorly concerned with begins at 6pm and features a cavalcade of stars from the local literary and music scenes and they intertwine for a wonderful early evening of entertainment at the Bear Bookshop.  

Poet Duncan e. Jones will set events in motion. That e. by the way, is definitely for esoteric. Anything can happen after that; Meave Haughey has featured in the UK’s Best of British Short Story Collections and the Love Bites Buzzcocks compilation; SOHO - yes that’s right those Hippychick Soho people, will play a short acoustic set, Wayne Dean - Richards will bring poetry and short stories. Jay Lewis professes to partially eschew the dour… Gracey Bee’s poetry will hopefully be the joyous and angst free beacon of hope she often offers, and Glyn Phillips returns to Bearwood with his own idiosyncratic world view… 

Bookshop Day kicks off at 10:30 am with a musical performance by the talented Joey Walter and Ning-Ning Li. Together, they will enchant the audience with a harmonious rendition of their book, “The Great Moon Cat,” weaving together the magic of music and literature…

The Outsideleft/Bear Bookshop bit of the day begins at 6pm and will run until whenever. There’s a bit of very exciting work to get through. Can I suggest a beer in Cork’s or somewhere nearby afterwards?

Jenny McCann in Bear Bookshop

Essential Information
Main Image: Meave Haughey
Bear Bookshop

588 Bearwood Rd, Bearwood, Smethwick B66 4BW

Ancient Champion

Ancient Champion writes for OUTSIDELEFT while relentlessly recording and releasing instrumental easy listening music for difficult people. The Champ is working on Public Transport, a new short story collection that takes up where 2021's Six Stories About Motoring Nowhere (Disco City Books) left off. It should be ready in time for the summer holidays. More info at

about Ancient Champion »»



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