Featured Publication – Erased by James McDermott

Our featured publication for January and February is Erased by James McDermott, published by Polari Press.

Erased deploys found and erasure poetry to answer back to decades of censorship and homophobia. Removing ‘not’ from Section 28 legislation makes it a riot of celebration; the pluralised UK national anthem, an invocation to ‘save the queens’. Through selecting and reversioning these texts, we see that ultimately, in the witty words of Pride placards, “love is/power/love wins” Caleb Parkin

McDermott’s new pamphlet quivers with political tension and confirms him as a vital voice of queer British poetry. McDermott changes the narrative of homophobic documents, revisits their language and moulds it into a glittery powersong of wonder and unashamedly queer joy. ‘God save our gracious queens’ indeed” Serge ♆ Neptune

Erased is a crystallised gem of a collection. Emotive, evocative, and ingenious. Using central conceit that keeps on delivering, James McDermott has uncovered something truly special, an iridescent revision of the canon and our received wisdoms” Rick Dove

Erased is an act of reclamation and fabulous impudence. The whole pamphlet empowers and validates” Simon Maddrell


after Al Parker Productions Gay Porn Video Intro Guidance

the following is being presented
as a visual fantasy
as a viable alternative
to actual sexual contact

some of the precautions
taken by the producers in
the preparation of this fantasy
have been visually omitted
for editorial considerations

this is intended for viewing
by a special and limited audience
namely adults who request and desire
material for their information
education and entertainment

GENESIS 9: 12-13
after God

and god said this
is the sign of
the covenant
I am
making between me and you and
every living creature with you
a covenant
for all generations
to come
I have set my rainbow
in the clouds and
it will be the sign of
the covenant
between me and the earth

after Pride protest slogans

James McDermott’s spoken word collection ‘Manatomy’, published by Burning Eye, was longlisted for Polari’s First Book Prize 2021. James’s pamphlet ‘Erased’ is published by Polari Press. Their poems have been widely published in magazines including Poetry Wales, The Gay & Lesbian Review, The Cardiff Review, York Literary Review, Popshot Quarterly & Atrium. James was shortlisted for Outspoken’s Poetry Prize 2020 in the Performance Category and has been Commended in the Verve Poetry Competition, Winchester Poetry Prize & York Poetry Prize. As a playwright, their plays published by Samuel French include ‘Rubber Ring’ (Pleasance Islington) and ‘Time & Tide’ (Park Theatre). James is also a writer on EastEnders. Follow James on Twitter at jamesliammcd and on Instagram at jamesmcdermott1993. Visit their web site to read more about them and their work here: https://jamesmcdermottwriter.weebly.com

Signed copies of Erased are available to purchase from James McDermott’s website.

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