hosted by the Literary Lounge on May 17th is…………….
There is a Poverty Line
click to listen
Interview with Aaron
This Spring we hosted a Poetry Slam on May 17th at the Literary Lounge. Aaron Kent was the winner with his reading, There Is A Poverty Line. Aaron lives in Cornwall with his fiancée. Recently, he started performing his poetry live in the UK. Aaron is always ready to try different things poetically, be it working with musicians or photographers.
River: Aaron, what inspired you to write, There Is A Poverty Line?
Aaron: I was inspired to write There Is a Poverty Line during a conversation I had with somebody who claimed “There is no poverty line in this country, just people who can’t afford to go on holiday”. It was the sheer ignorance of that statement that inspired me to write the piece. I lived in Glasgow in Scotland for a year or so whilst in the Navy and I saw more poverty in that city than in most places. People living without heat and children playing in the same clothes day after day, week after week. There was a family living in one derelict apartment block who had a crater in their living room, it was about 3ft deep and 4ft wide; they were scared to let their children wander the house without supervision in case they fell into it. It’s that sort of thing that truly gets to me, I’m the type of person who can’t walk by a charity worker on the street without stopping and talking for a bit and trying to see what I can do to help, but it is so hard in this day and age to help financially.
River: Can you describe your writing style?
Aaron: As a rule of thumb, I generally try to steer clear of anything cliched in my writing. I don’t want to adhere to a flowers and romance style of writing that just isn’t me, I can’t bring myself to write sonnets about love or count syllables in a rhyming couplet piece about the darkness of life; that just isn’t me. My influences aren’t traditional but are more musical: Frightened Rabbit, Elliott Smith and Say Anything are great inspirations for me, lyrically they all have a different style but they expand on a moment in time descriptively and I love that. Poetically I’m influenced by the likes of Scroobius Pip and Levi The Poet. Scroobius Pip can make you laugh with one sentence and then cry with the next. Levi The Poet though shows so much emotion with every word that it’s almost breathtaking to listen to him, and I like how he doesn’t force religion down your throat, instead accepting that it doesn’t work for some people.
River: What makes you passionate about writing?
Aaron: When I was younger I loved Maurice Sendak’s Where The Wild Things Are, it spoke to me like nothing had, took me away to somewhere else. As I grew up I didn’t find myself reading much, and that was a shame as I was a good reader for my age. Whenever, we had writing tasks in school I excelled but I couldn’t find passion for the written word. Until I read Chuck Palahniuk’s Survivor, it was phenomenal, I never had something I couldn’t put down before but this was different, this wouldn’t leave my hands. I knew I wanted to create something similar, something that would change somebody’s life. That’s what makes me passionate, finding the words to inspire somebody else to change their life or alter themselves for the better. There is a Frightened Rabbit lyric that sums my goals for this life up into one sentence. The song is Head Rolls Off and the line is ‘While I’m Alive, I’ll Make Tiny Changes To Earth’, if I can make just one positive change through my writing then I’ve succeeded.
River: I believe you will, Aaron. So since the Poetry Slam, the Literary Lounge has closed it’s doors due to low numbers leaving you the last winner. How does that make you feel?
Aaron: It’s a kind of bad feeling to be the last winner because it means that it’s the end, which is a shame because Poetry Slams are an amazing and interesting breed of competition. There is no hate or rivalry, just a shared love of the spoken – and written – word. I really hope there will be a revival of the Literary Lounge Poetry Slams because I’ve noticed recently that Poetry Slams are becoming more popular, this is a resurgence that I hope continues.
Aaron, Thank you for sharing your poetry and showing us some of the man behind the words.