Acerbic, cool, controlled, Siobhán Campbell gives us poetry with attitude. Many of the stories here start in Ireland and although the cadences are sweetly lyrical, the narratives are otherwise. Politics here is intrinsic to the tales of the sly, the warped, the landlady “Mean as Ireland in the 50’s”. Nature is deftly invoked as a counterpoint to human illusions. The apparently personal poems here are cast in a more tender, yet characteristically unsentimental light. Campbell brings the lyric close to the conflicts that spur our passions, both personal and political. She often takes a dialectic approach, at times employing rhythmic narratives which act as an antidote to stark subject matter. While full of wit, this collection challenges the reader by dealing with fundamental questions of borders, identity, violence and responsibility.
“The tension between the reality of violence in human nature and the aesthetics of her poetry is keenly felt. Her adroitness of balance is striking.” S.J. Litherland
“Poems that are fierce, luminous and clear-eyed; torpedoes lined with feather strokes.” Bernard O’Donoghue
“…there is an outstanding ear for the music of language… the rhymes and half-rhymes give the verse a rewarding sureness and slyness. Siobhán Campbell’s sense of cadenced disturbance marks her out as someone worth listening to with attention.” Robert Crawford
Listen to Siobhán Campbell read her poem, ‘These Women’: