Launch of Elephants (Fragile) by David Gilbert











Wednesday 21 February 2018

5:30pm – 7:30pm


Join us for the launch of our writer-in-residence David Gilberts’ latest pamphlet: Elephants (Fragile) published by Cinnamon Press.

The humane poems in Elephants (Fragile) chronicle a journey through mental illness, including takes on the workings of the mind, family dynamics during breakdown, love in a psychiatric unit, the wobbliness of healing and the hours spent crying in toilets.

Come and enjoy a drink before David Gilbert and poet Joanne Stryker give readings at 6:00pm. Afterwards you’ll get the opportunity to explore the latest exhibition at Bethlem Gallery.


Extract from ‘The World Is Full of Toilets To Cry In’, Elephants (Fragile)

Old smelly ones of course, uninspected, with cracked floor tiles, damp inglorious seats and broken locks, where one tap gushes forever hot and the dryer doesn’t work, even if you bang it several times. And where you’re not so poorly as to fail to notice the plethora of metaphors.

 I can feel more at home in posh ones, conference centres, government agencies and four star hotels (you can sometimes sneak in if you’re desperate) where Mozart streams in from unidentifiable wall speakers and the soap and incense sticks, in your justifiable fury, are easily nicked.


“This collection mingles the real and a surrealism of the understated Magritte kind to insinuate, with carefully modulated images and rhythms, a subtle disquiet that tests the boundaries of mental health and ‘normal’ apprehension.”

Ian Gregson


David Gilbert is a born and bred Londoner. He had a nervous breakdown when 25 and recovered at 31. Before and after this, he has been an activist on behalf of people who use health services and now works as a Director in the NHS. He is Writer In Residence at the Bethlem Gallery and his first pamphlet, Liberian Pygmy Hippopotamus, was published by Templar. He is married to Susan (who he met during his period of illness) and they have two sons, Samuel and Adam, and a cat called Tulia (Finnish for fire). He supports Leeds Utd.


Joanne Stryker is a poet from Toronto who’ll be reading from her collection, After. The collection forms a heart-breaking account of the aftermath of a suicide. Simple, spare language and the use of questions allow the seismic shifts of grief and disbelief to resonate through this powerful, disquieting and sometimes harrowing, but never sentimental or self-indulgent, sequence.  There is a fine line of control and grace in this poignant and deeply humane collection; and exceptional debut.


Cinnamon Press is a small, independent publisher run by a family team and based in North Wales. They select books that they feel passionate about and concentrate on a small list of titles into which they put maximum effort at every stage of development. Cinnamon Press books are not defined by genre, but by their unique ability to be thought provoking and to say something new.


Please arrive early if you require a seat as seating is limited, standing room available.



Buy Elephants (Fragile) here