Ah, Poetry. I know that word sinks fear into the hearts of a lot of people – those who struggled through Shakespeare’s sonnets at school or days trying to decipher Tennyson’s epic sagas at school, may well have been put off poetry for a long time. I rediscovered a love for it as a teenager – falling hard for the myth of Ted Hughes, and the visceral, raw poems that described a countryside and nature that I was all too familiar with, and my love of poetry has continued today.
I was hugely excited then, to be contacted by up and coming author Brad Cohen. Born in Guernsey in 1989, Brad is an experienced journalist and copywriter who had his first visual poem “Tectonic Trill” featured as part of the Hilbert Raum Gallery’s exhibition “Hummm…”, and his debut prose poem “Church” is published in Fincham Press’s anthology “Purple Lights”, released this month.
“Church & other Dirty Words” is a collection featuring 8 of Cohen’s pieces, and it’s a raw and visceral series of poems, that unsettle the reader with their bluntness, but are so screamingly honest that it’s impossible not to relate to the writing, especially if you’re Gay – Cohen writes about gay sex and gay porn with a satisfying bluntness, and poems such as Masc 4 Masc and DJ Pygmalion manage to convey feelings of arousal, excitement, and shame – pretty much par for the course for those of us who have gone through the period of hook ups and Grindr/Scruff/ whatever’s new these days. The focus isn’t just on sex though, with a searing tenderness in “One Thousand” and “Placeholders”, and blazing passion in “Tectonic Trill”.
Refreshing and new, Brad Cohen has shown in this short collection that he’s a hugely exciting poet, and one whose poems deserve to be got out into the world. “Church & other Dirty Words” has yet to find a publisher, so if you know of anyone who’d be interested in snapping up author Brad Cohen before it’s too soon – contact him at Brad Cohen’s website