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Kimberly Campanello

Poet Kimberly Campanello

Biography


Kimberly Campanello is a dual Irish and American citizen. Her most recent project is MOTHERBABYHOME, a 796-page poetry-object comprising conceptual and visual poetry on the St Mary’s Mother and Baby Home in Tuam, Ireland. Her poems have appeared recently or are forthcoming in Cambridge Literary ReviewThe White ReviewPara•textBlackbox ManifoldPoetry Wales, and Poetry Ireland Review. She is an inaugural Markievicz Award winner from Ireland’s Arts Council and the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht,  and was recently awarded a 2020 Arts Council Ireland Literature Project Award for a digital writing collaboration with Christodoulos Makris and Fallow Media, as well as 2020 residencies at the Heinrich Böll cottage on Achill island and the Centre Culturel Irlandais in Paris. In March 2020, she performed from MOTHERBABYHOME at Klang Farben Text: Visual Poetry for the 21st Century, a festival inspired by the international concrete poetry movement of the 1950s and 60s organised by the British Council, the National Poetry Library (UK), and Lyrik Kabinett (Munich). Her contribution to Experimental Praxis (Dostoyevsky Wannabe, 2021) was exhibited at HAUS Vienna in September 2020. She lectures in Creative Writing and is a member of the Poetry Centre in the School of English at the University of Leeds. Consent, published by Doire Press in 2013, is her debut collection.

Genre: Poetry
Number of publications: 1

[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

Sample Work

Sample Poems from CONSENT

Still

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.

Writer Website

Books

Consent
Consent Poetry Book by Kimberly Campenello published by Doire Press

ISBN: 978-1-907682-23-0 | Pages: 72 | Published: 2013

Kimberly Campanello is attempting something new, something challenging and inspiring and radical, something that hasn’t been seen before in contemporary Irish poetry… not only does she succeed in this attempt, her work wildly exceeds expectation (review by Doireann Ní Ghríofa, The Stinging Fly).

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