Reader in Residence – Radical Reading Room

Metal is delighted to announce a call-out for its Readers in Residence programme, in response to the Radical Reading Room.

The Radical Reading Room (RRR) is a new collaborative project opening up local public spaces and providing a wealth of educational tools which will be a catalyst for creative thinkers and critical minds. Starting with boxes of new, boundary-pushing books, organisations from Leeds, Sheffield, Cardiff, Peterborough and Newcastle/Gateshead have come together to create and generate spaces of positive dissent, backed up by the independent publisher Pluto Press and the Left Book Club.

There is access not just to books, but also the authors, who, through community-led conversations focussing on local issues, will share and build understanding on a variety of topics. Taking the lead from our communities, these topics include inequality, the environment, precarious employment, LGBTQ+ issues, structural racism and much more. As the project grows, RRR hope to expand to other areas of the UK, as well as develop new books by emerging radical voices.

The Peterborough Radical Reading Room will be hosted by arts organisation Metal in their research space at Chauffeurs Cottage, where they will programme a range of public events and residencies in response to the Reading Room books. Metal hopes to connect with a new range of audiences and engage different community groups to become creative thinkers and critical minds. You can find out more about the Reading Room at Metal here

Each Reader in Residence will be awarded a £1,000 fee, and a £1,000 programming pot. Applicants from outside of Peterborough and the surrounding villages will receive an extra stipend for travel and accommodation. You will be responsible for sorting your own arrangements.

Quick overview:

  • Six Readers in Residence for local and national artists, activists, academics, writers, collectives and collaborators at any stage of their career.
  • Each Reader will be awarded £1,000 fee, and a £1,000 programming pot. A further stipend for travel and accommodation will be made available for those living outside of the local area.
  • A minimum of two live events to be programmed around the themes or topics of the books
  • Spend a minimum of 7 days in the Reading Room (this can be consecutively or spread across a month)

The Reader in Residence offer is an opportunity for applicants to engage in a short time of focused research that explores their relationship to the themes and topics of the books. This could be through a project they are currently working on, or through a new line of exploration. A key outcome of the residency is for the readers to programme at least 2 in-person events to engage with the local public, through using both Metal’s existing networks and forging new relations with different community groups. Programmed events could be, but not limited to, hosting a dinner that is held with members of the public and/or community groups, an ‘in conversation’ interview with an author whose work is featured in the Reading Room, a participatory workshop, film screenings, scratch pieces, and more. Be creative! A key question to consider when crafting ideas for events is how can we engage new audiences with complex concepts and challenging ideas?

The offer is open to artists, activists, academics, writers, collectives and collaborators at any stage of their career. Three of the Readers in Residence are allocated to people who work and/or live in Peterborough and the surrounding villages, with a further three being allocated to applicants from across the wider UK.

Expectations of the Readers in Residence:

  • To programme at least 2 live, public events during your residency, with help and support from the Metal team and network of Radical Reading Rooms. These audiences can be through Metal’s existing networks and through new relations with new audiences.
  • To engage and connect with the other Radical Reading Rooms and to attend any collaborative online events.
  • During the residency, we invite you to sit with, read, annotate and absorb the books in the collection to inform your thinking about the world and its possible futures.
  • Recommend new books / themes to be added to The Radical Reading Room via Pluto Press’s and / or The Left Book Club catalogue.
  • To share what you’re reading via Metal’s blog and social media channels, supported by the Metal team.
  • Spend a minimum of 7 days undertaking research in the Reading Room in Peterborough. This could be consecutively or across a month. You are also welcome to borrow the books to continue any research at home.
  • Be prepared to interact with members of the public who have come to explore the books.
  • We also ask that you truly use this residency to take time, to read, recover, recuperate, consider, engage, disagree, change your mind, keep a journal, doodle, drink tea, bring a blanket, or do whatever you need to do, to really take the time to consider a different world and ways both small and large in which we can get there.



Wednesday 29th September 2021 at 5pm.

All applicants will be notified of outcome by Friday 15th October.

Residency period: All Residencies will take place between November 2021 and August 2022

Published on:
17 Sep 2021


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