the hungry ghost festival
...You pick my arms up and spread them out
so we are matching. Our woollen scarves
touch our noses - catch our breath
like cloth balloons. We dig our feet into the soil
and stamp down into the very deep.
Somewhere below, the river sleeps with a lady
screeching. She has arms that could carry boulders
to the edge of cliffs. We wait for her
to throw us down...'
(extract from 'angel metal')
The Hungry Ghost Festival concerns misremembered things. Strange things.
Girls praying to The Angel of the North. Mermaids born in the river Tyne.
Chinese lanterns, teenagers at the beach, and a family who run a sacred farm.
The Hungry Ghost Festival is published by The Rialto.
"This is an arresting collection from a writer fully in command of an unusual and significant voice.” Anna Woodford
“These are poems full of wonder and surprise.. Jen Campbell tells us stories about growing up...; reimagining love, childhood and home in strange and magical ways.” Liz Berry
“Jen Campbell opens the doors wide and takes you through to her own fierce world where nothing goes unquestioned. A mixture of strong filmic images and rich language mean that the poems always keep their sense of wonder and strength.” Sarah Salway
"The writing is luminous, immediate, and (yes) magical. I imagine she fell in love with words early, spinning them into shining nets to save herself from a kind of drowning. She’s a real poet, in other words." - Marcia Menter