A signed copy of 'Erased', James McDermott's hand-bound limited edition poetry pamphlet published by Polari Press.
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In ‘Erased’, James McDermott takes found homophobic newspaper articles, speeches, legislations and biblical passages and makes erasure poems out of them to reveal queer subtexts and to reclaim those works that tried to erase gay lives.
"‘Erased' deploys erasure poetry to answer back to decades of censorship and homophobia. In their re-making, we enjoy Tinky Winky as gay icon, and the ‘coming in’ of John Inman. Through selection and arrangement, the not-so-latent queerness of ‘American manhood’ magazines is illuminated. Removing ‘not’ from Section 28 legislation makes it a riot of celebration; the pluralised UK national anthem, an invocation to ‘save the queens’. The selective repeated blackout of a public notice becomes a litany of repression, where ‘police are toilets’; the un-mention-ability of Oscar Wilde’s Acts, transformed into an invitation ‘to be / out / hard’. Even God says he’s, “set my rainbow / in the clouds”’. Through selecting and reversioning these texts, we see that ultimately, in the witty words of Pride placards, “love is/power/love wins” Caleb Parkin
"Erased is an act of reclamation and fabulous impudence. McDermott grabs the found word of god to describe us as “consumed with passion for one another” and the enduring image of “receiving in themselves”. Even in erasure McDermott affirms us, “men who have sex with men will inherit the kingdom of god and that is you”. “And that is you” infuses the whole pamphlet, which empowers and validates. McDermott cleverly sets the homophobes and bigots in a ridiculous frame — my favourite being the Malaysian checklist to spot gays, “their eyes / go wide / light up / whenever they see / handsome men” and I am left with a new god and “my rainbow in the clouds” Simon Maddrell
"McDermott’s new pamphlet quivers with political tension and confirms him as a vital voice of queer British poetry. In a hostile world of microaggressions, and with a history that’s been less than kind to queer people, 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