Welcome to Halfman, Halfbook for my stop on the Blog Tour for All Island No Sea by Chris Campbell and published by Alien Buddha Press.

About the Book

‘In this buoyant collection about wading through life, people trudge in and out of houses, decorating them along the way. Growing older brings all kinds of paint splatters – some bright, some painful. These poems chart the identity crisis of a human island that has lost its ocean, leaving only a squawk and some wet socks. Perhaps, once all the wet socks are gathered, water can return. Campbell’s images unfold like a stepladder for us to climb.’

About the Author

Chris Campbell is a former journalist living in Bristol. He now works in PR and is a Rotary GB&I Young Writer National Final judge.

‘All Island No Sea’ is Chris’ third poetry book following ‘White Eye of the Needle’ (2021) and ‘Bread Rolls and Dresden’ (2013). His poems have appeared, or are forthcoming, in Dreich, Indigo Dreams’ The Dawntreader, The Waxed Lemon, Streetcake, Yuzu Press, Green Ink Poetry and Lothlorien Poetry Journal. Chris won The Portico Library’s ‘Poetry Prize’ (2021) and has been featured on BBC Radio Bristol.

My Review

Life is a series of routines for most people, with the occasional memorable event thrown in for good measure. The big things can be memorable for good and bad reasons, but for some people, they can find joy in the everyday moments. Chris Campbell is one of those.

The subject of the poems in this collection are wide-ranging, from sitting listening in a flat listening to a saxophone play, a cleaner in a pub and the things we actually own and the aftermath of a rainstorm in August seen through a broken window and a conversation with a barber. Some of the poems have a subtle and occasionally dark humour, not to make me laugh out loud, they made me smile as I read them.

You’d have been ninety-nine today.
I wonder of your rhubarb still grows

if your books now gather dust on
Someone else’s shelf?

I really liked this collection. Some of the poems brought back memories of my childhood, in particular, September. I remember having a pocket full of conkers ready to take home and pierce holes in. I like that the form and tempo of each poem were different so each page felt fresh and inviting. A great little collection that deserves a revisit at another point.

Three Favourite Poems
Dear Alan, Alan, Alan
I Want The Past In A Cereal Bowl

Don’t forget to visit the other blogs on the blog tour

Buy this at your local independent bookshop. If you’re not sure where your nearest is then you can find one here

My thanks to Isabelle for the copy of the book to read.

Visit www.chriscampbellpoetry.co.uk.
Twitter: @Citizen_Chris

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