YORK punk poet, theatre-maker and activist Henry Raby will launch his debut poetry collection, Nerd Punk, at All Saints' Church, North Street, York, on April 29.

Henry, co-host of the city's regular Say Owt Slam spoken-word clashes, has been performing his brand of anarchic verse around Britain since 2007, from festivals to front rooms, family-friendly events to mobs of punks.

"I've rigorously searched through old documents, notebooks and my memory to assemble ten years of poetry into a new collection," he says. "Nerd Punk features poetry on friendship, growing up, cartoons and comics, as well as protest poetry, feminism and anarchism. Plus heartfelt poetry about York itself, the vibrant community and hoping for a better world."

To celebrate, Henry will host the 7.30pm gig with some of his most favourite friends from across Britain: Suky Goodfellow, Dead Drummer and Bridget Hart. "It promises to be a sparky night of poetry, spoken word, music and celebration." he says.

"Suky Goodfellow is a multi-talented, multi-hair-coloured poet from Edinburgh, and from twisting Harry Potter narratives to political insights, she expertly juggles words with charismatic style," says Henry.

"Dead Drummer are York’s fourth most popular two-piece acoustic psycho/thrashabilly blues act. Like an unchained angry golem, this band spin comedic tunes about ghosts'n'ghouls.

"Bridget Hart is a Bristol book-publisher, punk, feminist, podcaster and Gryffindor-er, who writes with a beautiful anger that not only empowers but also inspires to kick back against the world and dig deep within our own introspective selves."

Henry has been part of York’s artistic DNA for more than a decade, whether working with York Theatre Royal to produce spoken-word nights; writing for Riding Lights Youth Theatre; appearing at various open-mic nights; putting on gigs at the Fulford Arms or setting up York’s Say Owt spoken-word organisation.

He has performed at Latitude Festival, Boomtown Fair, Edinburgh Fringe, the International Youth Arts Festival and Deer Shed Festival, and as an activist, he has been involved with York Stop The Cuts, which evolved into York People’s Assembly, and has taken part in the anti-fracking campaigning in Ryedale.

Bridget Hart says of Henry's book: "Nerd Punk will change how you feel about men. Not all men, but men like Henry Raby who write honestly about being a man in the 21st century."

The book is published by Burning Eye Books, a small South Western independent publisher specialising in promoting spoken word artists, with an aye for the bold, the fearless and the strange. Their aim is to dispel the assumption that performance poetry does not transfer well to page, while also giving emerging and established artist opportunities to be published where they might be rejected from other traditional poetry publishers.

Entry to Henry's book launch will be free, albeit with a suggested donation of £5. "Bring your own bottle but please respect the space," he says.