Consent by Kimberly Campanello

Our writers give voice to what it means to be Irish in a changing Ireland.

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[Campanello] is attempting something new, something challenging and inspiring and radical, something that hasn’t been seen before in contemporary Irish poetry. In my opinion, not only does she succeed in this attempt, her work wildly exceeds expectation. This collection is essential reading.

— Doireann Ní Ghríofa, The Stinging Fly

2013 / 72 pages / €12
ISBN: 978-1-907682-23-0
Cover photo: Tony Carragher

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By Kimberly Campanello

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KIMBERLY CAMPANELLO’s poetry publications include ConsentStrange CountryImagines, and Hymn to Kālī (her version of the Karpūrādi-stotra). MOTHERBABYHOME, a collection of 796 conceptual and visual poems on the St. Mary's Mother and Baby Home in Tuam, Co. Galway, is forthcoming from zimZalla Avant Objects in 2019. In 2017 a selection from MOTHERBABYHOME was published in Laudanum’s Chapbook Anthology Volume Two alongside work by Frances Lock and Abigail Parry. Her poems have most recently appeared in Poetry Ireland Review, Poetry Wales, and Banshee. She is featured in the Irish poetry section of Poetry International Web and has been awarded residencies at the Fundación Valparaíso, the Heinrich Böll Cottage, and The Studios of Key West. Kimberly has held teaching posts at York St John University and Florida Gulf Coast University and has also taught at Maynooth University, Middlesex University, the University of East London, CityLit, the Irish Writers Centre, and Big Smoke Writing Factory. In 2018 she joined the School of English and the Poetry Centre at the University of Leeds as a Lecturer in Creative Writing.



He told me how in his childhood
vultures used to mean a rush out to the hay fields
to see what had died. The worst was when his father

mowed over the fawn. A fawn is taught, or maybe just knows,
to hold still in danger. This is usually for the best.
If I hold still, is it for the best? If I hold still, how will you come?

The fawn held still. The mower tore it to pieces.
The vultures came and with them, the children. The father wept.
The hay was baled to feed the cows for slaughter.

I rushed on my bike to the tower through spinning cities of gnats.
We met, and they died all over me, my face and arms speckled with black.
Not one was still. No one is still. Ever. Not me. Not you. Even

the fawn breathed. I am building this spinning city
in a hay field. You are rushing to its tower.
We will meet there, breathing, still.

Chicken Skin

When you don’t bread a chicken body
you see its skin quite clearly.
Feather hairs once emerged from raised holes.
And some people plan
rape fantasies just to feel
their arms and legs
spread at the sockets
like the chicken’s legs and wings
before they’re cut from the body.
And maybe that makes some sense.
This is not a vegetarian poem
but you should know
that there’s no real fixity—
the uterus and fallopian tubes
just float inside us.
I never really saw chicken skin
until at 18 I saw the inside
of my
labia majora.
I had worried it was wrong.
I was wrong. The nurse said
No, that’s your chicken skin.
We all have it. Just ask any of us.

Author website
Review in The Penny Dreadful

Review in Irish Left Review