Two stops short of Barking by Gboyega Odubanjo

We are really excited to announce the publication of Two stops short of Barking, a new pamphlet of poems and interviews on East London by Gboyega Odubanjo.

Gboyega has been writer in residence at Rabbits Road Institute Library and during this time he has written a series of playful and incisive poems, published alongside interviews with three creative individuals who live and work in East London - playwright and actor Tife Kusoro, artist filmmaker John Smith and rapper John Akinde/OSOM.

Since 2020, Rabbits Road Institute Library has been on a virtual tour to the London borough of Barking and Dagenham, and through an open call to local writers, artists and creatives, Gboyega was selected to be the first ever writer in residence. As the Library is currently unhoused, Gboyega selected books from the collection and we sent them directly to his house where he spent a few months reading, writing and being inspired.

Photograph of Rabbits Road Institute Library books at Gboyega's house

Gboyega’s writing rubs together the many different parts of his world: London, Nigerian culture, religion, music, parties, histories of migration. The poems and interviews in Two stops short of Barking define a relationship to his home town of Dagenham, in East London. Contrasting his own experiences - from being chased home after school, to buying grilled suya from a van around the corner from the local Wetherspoons - with other local histories and stories, Odubanjo places them in a wider context of migration and regeneration.

Wednesday 5th May 7-8pm:

Celebrate the launch of Two stops short of Barking with an evening of conversation, poetry, film and music.

The online event will include poetry readings and conversation between Odubanjo and poet Kayo Chingonyi, screening of The Man Phoning Mum by artist film maker John Smith and music by John Akinde / OSOM, both Smith and Akinde feature in the pamphlet. The event is free - please book you place via eventbrite.

Two stops short of Barking will be available to buy online at the launch event at the special price of £4 (incl p&p) and it is available to pre order here at normal price of £5 (plus p&p). Each pamphlet includes a postcard with poem 'Zone 5'. We also have ten of the booklets to give away to Alternative School of Economics subscribers - please email with your name and address to claim a copy!

Write On!

In the current issue of Pen to Print’s brilliant magazine Write On! (Issue 8, 2021) Two stops short of Barking features on a series of 4 pull out postcards, including poem 'Looking at You' and an extract from one of the interviews. You can pick up a free copy of Write On! Magazine from local Barking and Dagenham Libraries.

Front and back cover of Two stops short of Barking

Front and back cover of Two stops short of Barking

Two stops short of Barking is published by The Alternative School of Economics, London 2021, and designed by Design Print Bind.

This booklet has been supported by The London Borough of Barking and Dagenham Library Service - Pen to Print Creative Writing Programme. Pen to Print is funded by Arts Council England as a National Portfolio Organisation.

Rabbits Road Institute Library 2020-2021 activity is funded by Arts Council England.


Gboyega Odubanjo is a British-Nigerian poet born and raised in East London. His first poetry pamphlet, While I Yet Live, was published by Bad Betty Press in 2019 and was named as one of the Poetry School’s Books of the Year. He is a recipient of the Poetry Business’ 2020 New Poets’ Prize, Resident Artist at the Roundhouse, an editor at bath magg, and a board member and former guest editor of Magma Poetry. His pamphlet Two stops short of Barking was produced whilst writer in residence at Rabbits Road Institute Library. Gboyega is a doctoral candidate at the University of Hertfordshire.

Kayo Chingonyi's second collection A Blood Condition was published in April 2021 by Chatto and Windus. His first full-length collection, Kumukanda, was published in June 2017 by Chatto & Windus and won the Dylan Thomas Prize and a Somerset Maugham Award. He is a fellow of the Complete Works programme for diversity and quality in British Poetry and the author of two pamphlets, Some Bright Elegance (Salt, 2012) and The Colour of James Brown’s Scream (Akashic, 2016). Kayo has been invited to read from his work at venues and events across the UK and internationally. He was awarded the Geoffrey Dearmer Prize and has completed residencies with Kingston University, Cove Park, First Story, The Nuffield Council on Bioethics, and Royal Holloway University of London in partnership with Counterpoints Arts. He was Associate Poet at the Institute of Contemporary Arts from Autumn 2015 to Spring 2016, Anthony Burgess Fellow at Manchester University in 2018, and co-edited issue 62 of Magma Poetry and the Autumn 2016 edition of The Poetry Review. He is poetry editor for The White Review. Kayo is also an emcee, producer, and DJ and regularly collaborates with musicians and composers both as a poet and a lyricist.

Born and raised in East London, carrying with him a West African (Nigeria) heritage, John Akinde (also known as OSOM) creates work that seeks to entertain, challenge and provoke thought. Having developed his craft at a community youth club, learning how to engineer sound and produce creative projects and ideas, he has since undertaken commissions from Huffpost, Metro, the BBC, Sky Arts and more. As an entreprenuer, writer and musician, OSOM’s mission is to tell stories and make provocations through creative expression. He released the track Mandem in 2020.

John Smith was born in Walthamstow, London in 1952 and studied film at the Royal College of Art in the mid 1970s. Inspired in his formative years by conceptual art and structural film, but also fascinated by the immersive power of narrative and the spoken word, he has developed an extensive body of work that subverts the perceived boundaries between documentary and fiction, representation and abstraction. He has exhibited extensively in the UK and internationally. His work is held in numerous public collections including Tate Gallery; Arts Council England; Museum Sztuki, Lodz; FRAC Île de France, Paris; Kunstmuseum Magdeburg; Ella Fontanals-Cisneros, Miami; Wolverhampton Art Gallery; Ferens Art Gallery, Hull; and Lux, London

Boluwatife ( Tife ) Kusoro is a Nigerian-British writer and performer. She was born in Lagos and lives in London. Her creative practice is focused in writing plays for stage, screen and audio, while she also writes prose fiction, personal essays and poems. In 2019, she graduated from the University of Leeds with a degree in English Literature and is now training as an actor. Her first full length works for theatre We Have Sinned (b. 2017) and Fly Home Butterfly (b. 2018) were shortlisted for awards including the Alfred Fagon Award (2017 + 2018) , the Verity Bargate Award (2020), and the Women's Prize for Playwriting (2020). Tife has also undertaken attachments with Talawa Theatre Company, the Bush Theatre and the Royal Court, and is currently one of the BBC's 2021 London Voices. She is currently working on her first play commission with the Bush Theatre. As an actor and performer, she has worked for and with Leeds Playhouse, Talawa Theatre Company, the Bush Theatre, the National Youth Theatre and the BBC Radio Drama Company.


Front and back cover of Two stops short of Barking, pamphlet by Gboyega Odubanjo