Rough Trade Books Extra Curricular - A little online amusement for abnormal times Randomise!

WELCOME TO THE LAUNCH OF THE LATEST PAMPHLET SERIES THAT WE’VE CHRISTENED… THE INDOORS SERIES.

We all remember the indoor playtime of our childhoods, the rain, the board games, the thwarted desire to be outside. Our latest set of pamphlets have had the misfortune to come into the world at just such a time, with so many of us longing for the outdoors and congregation. Tonight was supposed to be their launch, and we were supposed to be raising a glass at Rough Trade East to celebrate.

We think in some ways these works all speak to the sense of frustration, powerlessness, boredom and restriction in different ways. As a substitute for the usual wild extravaganzas that are our launch events, we’ve come up with a whole load of ‘online’ good stuff, all found on these Extra Curricular pages…

First up—Rough Trade Edition No.37—Lament by Briony Bax, is a set of poems detailing the process and impact of living with mental illness. In unadorned, stirring language, Bax provides moving testimony to the inhumanity of our current welfare system juxtaposed with its all-too-human cost and the moments of levity, heartbreak and sorrow entailed. Here, Briony gives a short reading from this deeply affecting set of poems.

Following Briony, check out Rough Trade Edition No.38, Mattress Mantrasa set of images made by the artist David Shillinglaw. Armed with a camera and can of spray paint, Shillinglaw uses the ubiquitous presence of old mattresses augmented with literary, philosophical or historical quotes to talk about ideas of domesticity, permanence, art and culture. We’ve curated an online exhibition of these images, which stimulate the eye as well as the mind, some of which are exclusive to this website’s pages here…

Like a couple of kids in their parents’ back seats, or sat inside during wet play, Max Porter’s It’s Going to be a Bright New Day: Would You Rather with Bonnie Prince Billy aka Rough Trade Edition No.35, provides a framework for two original, brilliant minds to reveal themselves in all their humour, scope and intelligence. For our online launch, we’ve put Max in the chair, and have a very special set of questions for him from the literary and music world’s cultural great and good. You can view that below.

Max has also provided a playlist of his favourite Bonnie Prince Billy tracks for you all to enjoy too…

Max Porter’s Playlist

The last author of this online launch event is Richard Phoenix. Richard’s inspiring pamphlet—Rough Trade Edition No.36—D.I.Y. as Privilege: A Manifesto tells the story of the author’s experience of working with musicians with a variety of learning disabilities. It’s a unique, powerful manifesto and exposition of the challenges, insights and joys of his work-life and the incredible music he’s had access to the making of. Richard is here in conversation with the writer and literary translator Jen Calleja…

Last but not least, to close this launch, we also have an introduction to, as well as a song from Electric Fire, the rather brilliant band that Richard Phoenix works with that should have been taking to Rough Trade East’s stage tonight. So let’s all pretend we’re there and now, I ask everyone to please put your hands together for… ELECTRIC FIRE!

Enjoy the night!

Nina x