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Foundry Songs by Dean Rhetoric

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Dean Rhetoric’s Foundry Songs examines shame, grief, lust and loss through the emotional upheaval of a troubled adolescence pitted against a post-industrial backdrop. Both gritty and lyrical, Rhetoric combines cutting wit with poignant descriptions of trauma. The poems grapple with God and working class identity, envisioning a world where posh pelicans laugh at seagulls choking on chips, workers on strike protest Richard Curtis and tumours tumble out of jumper pockets. Foundry Songs is a resonant debut collection which pulls no punches.


PRAISE for Foundry Songs:

Dean Rhetoric’s poetry shakes things up. The phrase-making of Foundry Songs is visceral and passionate, forging from trauma and poverty ‘a pulsing shield of anger’. Routine harm inflicted by modern industrial, political and economic systems is exposed through searing remembrances of the lost. Here too, though, are earthy poems for the ‘carelessly alive’ that evoke desire with charm and ‘picket lines / around the bedpost’. A fierce, important debut.

   — John McCullough, Reckless Paper Birds


In Foundry Songs, Rhetoric channels the blood and guts of the working class into a brilliant collection of uncompromising poetics. A surreal sprint through the graveyard of forgotten towns, the haunted factories, the noise of misspent youth, where adolescence is dragged into adulthood, and identity smashed against the side of a departing train. This is poetry of the soul, of loss, love and reclamation. It is the voice of the unseen grabbing the world by the throat, and demanding that it listens to its story. Make no mistake, this is a blistering debut that does not care what you think, but asks you to feel instead.

   — Stuart McPherson, Obligate Carnivore


Surprising and exciting poetry, filled with energy, power, and profundity.
   — Cathy Bryant, Best of Manchester Poets


Dean Rhetoric’s Foundry Songs are flicks of space caught in the bountiful hands of time. A mind corrupted and refurbished. A soul with the darkness of light. Each poem, a sermon of unravelling - a gorgeous disrobing of invisible intimate parts. 
   — Ingrid M. Calderon-Collins, Let The Buzzards Eat Me Whole


ABOUT Dean Rhetoric:

Dean Rhetoric is a working-class poet currently living in Manchester. He has previously been nominated for The Pushcart Prize and was a Semi-Finalist for the Crab Creek Review Poetry Prize in 2018. His pamphlet, Cancer [+Pop Punk] is available from Broken Sleep Books. 

Broken Sleep Books



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