Sugar Water Book

Sugar Water Book

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Sugar Water is "a queer morphology of a liquid lyric", telling of dangerous lovers, surviving sexual violence, reclaiming one's sensuality and inheriting trauma.

In this debut, Cohen attempts to bend the materiality of language while conjuring up fragrant, hostile and delicious imagery at every turn.


“In the highly charged and deeply felt world of Brad Beau Cohen’s poetry, eroticism is both complex and enigmatic as ‘denim-clad deities’ cruise the beach at night and breath becomes ‘a sodium spark on skin’. These poems are bold, off-kilter and surreal examinations of queer life and desire. Though there are wounds here, as a poem becomes a cell, ‘storm-wrung’ or ‘drawn with blood’, the work ultimately proclaims survival.”
Richard Scott, author of Soho (Faber)

Sugar Water is a much-needed sprinkle of fairy dust in a monochrome world; these poems channel new energies and strange currencies, queer valencies of time and place that demand or describe brighter colours or words of cut glass. They take us into ways of being in the world that seem familiar yet also uncanny; illuminations of the human soul that stir desire as well as whispering hotter intimacies, unflinchingly tender confessions that pull you in, hold your attention, revealing their riches slowly."
Jonathan Kemp, author of London Triptych and Twentysix (Myriad Editions)

“In Cohen’s poem Deep End, the reader is instructed to “Concern yourself with where to simmer” and this idea of water imagery being integral and reflective of our emotional history, trauma and joy gives this startling collection of poems a constant tidal-pull of intensity. Nearly every poem thrums with the ebb and flow of water in all its different forms, and the soundtrack drives the reader forward through the often turbulent themes the poems address. Cohen’s choices of imagery and place are fresh; the holiday beach is infused with violence, an ocean longs to adopt a child, sex results in the sugar water of the title being a “molten mother of pearl”. An exciting debut!"
Fourteen Poems

“These are poems to float on, to drown in. Intimate and unshrinking, Sugar Water takes its themes from the body, queerness, memory and pain. Cohen’s work has a dark, glittering eroticism; alert to form and with a thirst for the image. To read Sugar Water is to savour the spirit of what is fresh in current poetry.”
Ella Duffy, author of Rootstalk (Hazel Press) and New Hunger (Smith | Doorstop)

Author Brad Beau Cohen
Format Paperback
Pages 52
ISBN 9781399918657


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