Stormzy’s Penguin Random House imprint #Merky Books has teamed up with Beats by Dre to open the #Merky Books pop-up shop in London.
The three-day pop-up will celebrate creativity through music, art, culture, spoken word, songwriters, filmmakers, directors, and curators at the new Beats Residency space in Shoreditch with guests including Dapo Adeola, Nate Agbeth, André Anderson, Bolu Babalola, Darren Chetty, DJ Creole Cuts, Innua Ellams, DJ K2RAH, Chelsea Kwakye, Mark Maciver, Derek Owusu, DJ Pablo, Yomi Sode and Wretch 32.
Each day, books by authors of colour, home-grown zines and upcoming illustrator prints will be available to buy and attendees can listen to audio books at the Beats by Dr Dre listening stations. Books will be sold by Round Table Books and #Merky Books merchandise will be sold by the Penguin Shop.
Emma Wallace, senior audience and brand manager at #Merky Books said: “We’re very excited to announce the launch of our first #Merky Books pop up, powered by Beats by Dr Dre. The curated space will host a number of workshops and panels with illustrators, songwriters, screenwriters, directors, playwrights, editors and podcasters – showing you a world beyond books. We can’t wait to meet more of our community and invite them to the space.”
To kick off the first day, London MC Wretch 32 will host a songwriting workshop with writer, teacher and researcher Darren Chetty. That evening, broadcaster and author Derek Owusu will launch his new novel-in-verse and the imprint's third title, That Reminds Me, with a reading followed by a chaired discussion and publication day celebration. Throughout the day a number of podcasts will be recording special episodes from the store, including Generation Vex, Black Gals Livin, 90s Baby Show and Off the Cuff.
On day two, the #Merky Books pop-up shop will host an illustrator workshop led by Dapo Adeola of Dapsdraws and Chanté Timothy, a talk with André Anderson and Nabil Al-Kinani of Freedom & Balance and a panel discussion led by Taking Up Space co-author Chelsea Kwakye programmed by Penguin Live, about which books should be on the national curriculum. A writers’ clinic will run throughout the day and evening, where writers can meet with editors.
The third day sees a screening of the BIFA-nominated short film Serious Tingz followed by a talk by writer and director Abdou Cissé, a playwriting workshop with the Roundhouse and Barbershop Chronicles creator Inua Ellams. There is also a panel discussion on the topic of creativity beyond books, chaired by Nate Agbetu from creative social enterprise Play Nice, and spoken word performances curated by acclaimed poet Yomi Sode. Throughout the day award-winning and celebrity barber Mark Maciver of SliderCuts will be there with his pop-up barbershop. DJ sets will conclude each evening with DJs Pablo, K2RAH and Creole Cuts all performing.
The pop-up at The Beats by Dr Dre Residency, 4 Chance Street, Shoreditch, E1 6JT will be open from Thursday 14th- Saturday 16th November. The pop-up is free but registration is required. The shop comes after #Merky Books, which launched in July 2018, announced plans to expand earlier this month with the appointment of commissioning editor Lemara Lindsay-Prince.