The Rise Of...

Aaron Kent


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Broken Sleep Books
1 April 2022
ISBN: 9781915079817
50 pages

From the publisher

The Rise Of... Aaron Kent sees the working class Cornish poet writing with no filter, gnarly and mania driven hallucinations that tear into a traumatic incident in compelling fashion. The loosely punctuated long poem follows a wayward adolescent who begins by writing love letters to men he doesn't like and ends up evoking Dylan Thomas' mesmeric 'A refusal to morn...' before turning into the ocean. 'The Rise of' is essential reading, because as Kent knows 'After the first death, there is no other'


PRAISE for The Rise Of...:

I started reading it…I couldn’t stop. Incredibly impactful, heartbreaking, terrifying, raw but deeply authentic. The Rise Of... doesn’t allow you to take a breath. It holds you in its grip and drills every single word into your skull. In trying to break away from his past, Kent gets dragged backwards again and again into a polaroid box full of haunted visions and feelings. The actual survival of trauma is very much like this. Important to acknowledge, not just for Kent, but for survivors in general. Men need to be able to express their grief of trauma and sexual assault. It needs opening up and this does it.
   — Stuart McPherson, Waterbearer


We’re dropped, with immediacy and intimacy, into a body of work which fills every available space on the page in order to explore its subject: an incidence of sexual abuse and the fallout that follows. 

This is not a stream of consciousness it’s a flood. 

The text feels as if it’s being written as we read it. We follow Aaron between moments of matter-of-fact lucidity, landing blows with uncomplicated language: “I had surgery to fix the damage on my throat and I lost the ability to vomit,” and surrealist poignancy, where the poets urge to make beautiful slips through: “The broken boats bubbles spilling onto the plates as I swallow down the shark that ran me on its metal teeth”.

This piece of writing exhausted me, as any revolutionary writing should. Punctuation is abandoned to demonstrate the structural damage sexual abuse can do to its victims, leaving those of us who read it start to finish literally breathless. But it’s last page makes a break for air, through deep water, and manages a defiant hope, proof of survival to all of us who need it.
   — Day Mattar, Springing from the Pews