Have you ever stopped and looked around you, only to discover the world that you live in isn’t what you’ve been led to believe? Brutalism One does exactly that. It grabs the rose tinted glasses, and smashes them to pieces on their alarming honesty. The poets’ raw words strike with a devastating candor that is a bright light in an otherwise murky world.
In their own words, the Brutalism movement is one of ‘total control, total creativity’, this is anarchy for the new world. Open your eyes and see the truth. This is the essence of Brutalism. Wipe away any misconceptions you may have about life – this is where we all come from, and where we all could be. In the same way a slap across the face frees you from hysteria, the book frees you from apathy. Frees you from fear. Afraid to strive for what you want? Then this is all you have. Their words bear warning – this is there. This is coming.
Containing six poems from each Brutalist, (Ben Myers, Adelle Stripe and Tony O’Neill) each recounting their experiences of their Northern hometowns, they put their experiences down on paper, undressed and unadorned. There is no smoke and mirrors with these memories – we are dragged from our 2.4 children existence, into the real heart of Britain. Drugs, sex, alcohol, – the world they grew up in. These towns are the true home of the asbo, laid bare for our inspection.
The unadulterated honesty that each writer puts into their poems fills them with emotions that at first glance you don’t expect to find. The crudeness of the topics – losing your virginity behind the back of a pub – becomes an inspiring tale of heroicness, a modern day knight in shining armour – and one that this modern generation can relate to. As the book progresses, each poem flows from one to the next, the constant theme of home, escaping it, being drawn back, escaping again. These invoke the memories that each and every one of us has with the place we grew up. They call up feelings of fear and desperation. The awful world we have clawed our way out of – knowing that at any moment we could be sucked back in. What if my world is an illusion? What if this is really who I am? These are poems for the modern generation; they thrust the underbelly of Britain that we all try so desperately to ignore straight in our faces. With all the agony that these realisations bring, there is a constant beacon of hope bursting from the pages. You can get out. You can be something more. You can. We did.
For anyone who feels the mundane monotony of life is dull – think again – it’s there, it’s yours, make it beautiful.