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Queer Conditions Reading Group

1 November 2018


The Queer Conditions Reading Group was a new reading group based in Birmingham. The group will be led by its members, with texts decided on collectively, encompassing literature extending from critical theory, to short stories or works of speculative fiction.

People of any sexuality or gender identity were welcome to join in the reading, the group took place across differing venues. This was to allow a broader capacity, better accessibility and to stimulate conviviality with and between members of the group.

The group explored texts with a grounding in Queer theory, but seek to hold conversation concerning contemporary issues of austerity, displacement, post-colonial conditions, and wider Feminist/Anti-Colonial/Anti-Capitalist thought.

The first Queer Conditions Reading Group took place at Grand Union on Thursday 1 November at 6pm. Texts were read together during the event so there is no need to prepare ahead of the session. We welcomed Burning House Books to this session, where founder Aimee Bea Ballinger presented a selection of books from their catalogue and we selected passages to read together, among others.

About Burning House Books

Burning House Books is an online and pop-up art and theory bookshop founded by Aimee Bea Ballinger in 2016.

The ‘Burning House’ of the name is taken from a painting by mixed-media artist, AIDS activist and writer David Wojnarowicz, whose seminal book Close to the Knives: A Memoir of Disintegration (first published in 1991 and recently brought back into print by Canongate) Aimee forcibly presses into the hands of every new person she meets. The fire behind Burning House Books is to promote works that give voice to the marginalised, the soft underbellies and perverts, tough talkers and unapologetic outsiders.

The Burning House Books website is not just an online shop but an opportunity to collaborate with many inspiring, hard working sellers, artists and writers.

Burning House Books aims to provide a platform for voices that have grabbed attention with their honesty, rawness and tenacity, and whose work feels vital to share.

Keep up with Burning House Books on Instagram @burninghouse books and Twitter @burninghousebks or sign up to the monthly newsletter here:

If you are interested in hosting or collaborating with Burning House Books please contact