Edinburgh's Radical Bookshop

Bread and Roses Award 2024: Meet the Judges


View Linked Books

Work is well underway with 2024’s Bread and Roses Award - a book award dedicated to lifting up and celebrating radical left-wing political non-fiction. - with some fantastic books being read, enjoyed and painstakingly discussed.

We’re excited to announce this year’s panel of judges! Here you can read about them and some of their favourite radical books. The Bread & Roses Award is presented by the Alliance of Radical Booksellers.

Photo of Agomoni Hanguli-Mitra


A Senior Lecturer at the University of Edinburgh, with interest in health, gender, justice and race, and a trustee and Shakti Women’s Aid. I wrote What Draupadi Said to Penelope, which won a Laurel Award at the Edinburgh Fringe 2024. I am also a student of Indian dance and music.

What book/s have prompted you to take action?

Patricia Hill Collins’ Black Feminist Thought has allowed me to rethink what is traditionally considered beautiful academic writing. It has taught me that embodied lived experience from the margins should be central to what we think and worry about. And it has shown me that important, radical ideas can be expressed in clear, accessible and enjoyable language.

Photo of Meera Ghanshamdas


Meera Ghanshamdas is co-director of Round Table Books CIC, a community interest company based in Brixton that specialises in championing books from experiences currently under-represented in the book industry and is actively working to make the industry a more inclusive space. She has judged the Klaus Flugge Prize, the British Book Awards, and the Mo Siewcharran Prize as well as sitting on multiple selection panels for English Pen. She was born in Hong Kong and has lived in the Philippines, South Africa, and India before settling in London.

What book/s have prompted you to take action?

(if it ever was) Silence is not an option any longer. The only way that the conversation will evolve is through active communication and dissent. And evolve it must.

Photo of Mymona Bibi

MYMONA BIBI (photo credit Ismail Rothon Ali)


Mymona is a Bengali-British writer, creative workshop facilitator and ESOL teacher in Newcastle. Her writing has been featured in Corridor8 and Lumpen Press, exploring identity and home. She’s a core member of the collective Brown Girls Write and has performed spoken word poetry at Northern festivals and events. Her writing and community work investigates how multilingualism affects epistemology in marginalised communities.

What book/s have prompted you to take action?

Aftermath by Preti Taneja was one of the first books that prompted me to take action. This book allowed me to connect my feelings of grief about the world with a wider understanding of society and politics. Before reading this, the grief I’d felt about my experiences in this world felt unexplainable and therefore not worth dealing with or overcoming. Preti’s awareness of self, positionality and factors affecting the circumstances written about in the book showed me that my grief was explainable and worth unpicking. The poeticism of the writing mixed with its call for abolition and action showed me that activism comes in various forms, but at the start, it comes from the core emotions that make us human.

Photo of Olivia Calderon

OLIVIA CALDERÓN (photo credit Gabrielle Tse)

Olivia Calderón is a Cuban American poet based in Edinburgh. Her work has appeared in Interpret and Gutter, along with various local anthologies. In 2023 she was shortlisted for the Grierson Verse Prize, and graduated with her MSc in Creative Writing. She is currently the managing editor for Outcrop Poetry.

What book/s have prompted you to take action?

The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein. It absolutely opened my eyes to how close these issues really were to me. I grew up in Miami, and saw first hand the impact of the Latin American regimes, but to see it laid out so matter of factly was jarring, as I had never known the depth of US involvement. Since then I’ve been adding a lot more non-fic to my rotation - I want to be much more active in my learning and practice within myself and the community.

Photo of Ray Shipley


Ray is a writer, bookseller, and librarian. They love reading all kinds of books, particularly ones that deal in community, politics, and/or queerness. From Aotearoa New Zealand, Ray has recently moved to Edinburgh with their Scottish wife; Ray now spends their time reading, exploring, looking for friends, and furiously job-hunting.

What book/s have prompted you to take action?

So many! Last year the stand outs were Funny Weather: Art in an Emergency by Olivia Laing; The Palestine Laboratory: How Israel Exports the Technology of Occupation Around the World by Antony Loewenstein; and Audition by Pip Adam. All three, in very different ways, prompted me to feel fresh fire in the face of deep injustices.

Photo of Scott Hartles


I’m Scott Hartles, I am CWU Assistant Regional Secretary Scotland. I have been active in the trade union movement for my whole adult life. I am a socialist, and an avid reader. Reading non-fiction allows me an opportunity for a socialist education that I couldn’t get in a formal environment.

What book/s have prompted you to take action?

The Spirit Level : Why Equality is Better for Everyone by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett. I read this book after it was recommended to me by a tutor on a trade union course when I first became active at the age of 19. The way the book laid out various forms of inequality in unequal countries with charts and then compared it to countries who have more equal societies with charts. At the time I was politically minded but not active. This book ignited my political activism and passion in equality for all in terms of class but also, race, gender, sexuality, age or disabled. I have not stopped fighting for equality ever since.

Photo of Viv Cheng


Viv (She/they) is a translation geek and liquid aficionado. She has lived in Shanghai, Singapore and Brazil advocating for mental health and refugees; and now finds her place behind the till at Typewronger books, Edinburgh.

What book/s have prompted you to take action?

The Living Mountain by Nan Shepherd. I read this book during lockdown and the very first month I moved to Scotland. The gorgeous writing has changed my perspective on nature, and after reading the book I took my very first hike, and it converted me to a lover of the outdoors.

...and our Lighthouse team behind the scenes!

Photo of Christina Neuwirth


Bookseller & Prize Administrator, and I’m also a writer and researcher.

What book/s have prompted you to take action?

Living a Feminist Life by Sara Ahmed, None of the Above by Travis Alabanza, Culture is Bad For You by Brook et al, The Truth about Modern Slavery by Emily Kenway. All of these changed something fundamental about how I think and interact with the world.


Bookseller & Chair of Judges

What book/s have prompted you to take action?

This Changes Everything by Naomi Klein. This was one of the first books that I read which helped me to understand the relationship between the economy and the environment and the human cost of capitalism and climate change. I learnt what it meant to live in a place that only ever benefited from the end product, and only ever contributed to making climate change worse. It led me to make personal changes and to learn from activists pursuing systematic change.

This wonderful gang is now working hard on the longlist, which will be announced early in the summer. You can read all about last year's winner of the Bread and Roses Award HERE.

Linked Books