When reading the initial submission from James, I couldn’t stop laughing, and reacting loudly as if I was watching a play. It was a joy to read and publish. MANATOMY is full of relatable experiences for the queer community, and beyond. James’ ability to write in such colour is dazzling, and I hope everyone finds a bit of their awkward selves in this book.

Bridget Hart

‘Simply magnificent. You don’t have to have grown up gay to appreciate this poetry but it will have a special charge, beauty and meaning for those of us who have’ – Stephen Fry

Manatomy is a collection of wry, witty and cheeky poems exploring how nature, nurture, pop culture, prejudice and politics shape the identity of camp gay man James McDermott.

Structured in three parts – ‘Boy’, ‘Youth’ and ‘Man’ – Manatomy interrogates how the experiences of growing up gay in a homophobic world and in rural millennial England affect a gay man’s relationships with himself, his partners, the LGBTQ+ community and the wider world.

James McDermott is a playwright and performance poet based in East Anglia, represented by Independent Talent. He graduated from UEA with an MA in Scriptwriting and trained on the Royal Court Writers’ Group, Soho Theatre’s Writers’ Lab and Hampstead Theatre’s Inspire: The Next Playwright Programme.

James has performed his poetry at venues across the country including the Southbank Centre, Arcola Theatre and Norwich Arts Centre. He has been commissioned to write poems for The Scottish Mental Health Festival, Ian Giles’s queer walking tours Open Ramble East and for Luton Culture’s People PowerPassion. James has also written several verse plays including Human Screens and Reveal (both commissioned and produced by Collusion). James was shortlisted for Outspoken’s Prize for Poetry 2020 in the Performance Category.


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Join us TONIGHT (26th Aug) for the IG LIVE launch of MANATOMY at 7.30pm – @burningeyebooks