The poems in Very Friendly Weapon run the course of an impossible year, the accumulation of several years' explorations and discoveries: poet James M'Kay travels as far as Turkey and Tennessee while still struggling to leave Tyneside, developing interests in death, flying, and regular metre.Looking forward into the Great Uncertainty, and back through childhood and history into myth, they were written in between summer seasons working as a tour guide across Europe. All have been performed in spoken word venues across the UK as the scene rapidly expanded between 2011 and 2017. Some were featured in the 2015 Edinburgh Fringe Show The Boy with the Moomin Tattoo (for PBH Free Fringe).
Former Latin teacher and keen amateur chef James M'Kay has been writing and performing his poems, as well as devising and running events to perform them at, since the year 2000.Having launched a number of poetic careers from his DIY cabaret night Home Cooking in Newcastle, he moved to London in 2005 where he became involved with Richard Tyrone Jones' hugely influential Utter! Spoken Word project. He now lives at Gravesend in Kent, where he is the host of monthly neighbourhood poetry night Reverb Chamber. Very Friendly Weapon is James' second published collection of poems, the first being Quiet Circus (Vintage Poison Press, 2011).He also appears on the poetry-and-prog-rock album Follow On by Newcastle band The Morris Quinlan Experience (Round and Round Records, 2007), which gained national and international airplay and led to a live performance at London's much-missed 12Bar.