'These poems are sparkling with affection. Campbell finds beauty in the everyday, in the connections to each other and to the land.'
NATALIE ANN HOLBOROW
'Like the flowers that push through its city gardens, this is a collection that reminds us that it's the human connection and the power of the natural world that keep hope alive in a world gone dark.'
'Poems in Campbell's White Eye of the Needle serve, like the landform the book is named for, as both frame and portal... This collection is an accomplished capturing of moments.'
ALL ISLAND NO SEA
'Inventive and easy with nature these beautifully worded poems give you pause to reflect and become conscious of the present moment.’ – Henry Normal, BAFTA-winning TV and film producer, founder of Manchester Poetry Festival and co-founder of Nottingham Poetry Festival
‘There are poems here to value and appreciate.’ – John Hegley, poet comedian and former TV and radio presenter
‘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.’ – Beth Calverley, poet and founder of The Poetry Machine and poet in residence at University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust
WHITE EYE OF THE NEEDLE
'Stunning, sensual and subtle. In White Eye of the Needle, we see a clear love of language with a deft alertness to the power of sound and what it can create. Combined with stunning images, this is a book to give those you love.' – Katherine Lockton, co-editor of South Bank Poetry
'These poems are sparkling with affection. Campbell finds beauty in the everyday, in the connections to each other and to the land. In a world when we are feeling cut off, these poems are like a bridge back to some sense of balance. They are celebrations of relationships, places and of being alive. Some of them feel like a home I’ve never been to.' – Poet and performer David Linklater, author of Black Box
'Chris Campbell's poems are accessible, enjoyable, and formally and stylistically thoughtful and dextrous – as in 'Yellow dress', which empathetically slips into and out of ballad metre, or the well-pitched epigram 'Time doesn’t slow', or the subtle uses of slant-rhyme and couplets in 'Last night of our honeymoon', in which 'We eat side by side, the candle facing us, / The taps of shoes are circling // But beside us, a restaurant sits empty, / Laid out cutlery and glass'. A lot of the explorations in these poems are personal, but this is no solipsist's diary: he is constantly conscious of the power a poet can have to touch someone's heart by revealing his own.' – Poet Rory Waterman, senior lecturer in English and Creative Writing, Nottingham Trent University
'At a time when the world feels a little darker, White Eye of the Needle invites the reader to gaze upon a world where "houses rub shoulders", "the taps of shoes are circling" and dawn spreads its welcome light "like the oranges brightening Seville". In this tender, wistful collection, Campbell observes humanity with a sharp eye – where the lockdown poems offer a relatable and searingly honest depiction of our days transfixed on blinking screens, there is always the human touch to offer relief in a lemon dress, the notes of 'Für Elise', tumbling hedgerows and the tender simplicity of a shared meal with a loved one. Like the flowers that push through its city gardens, this is a collection that reminds us that it's the human connection and the power of the natural world that keep hope alive in a world gone dark.' – Natalie Ann Holborow, award-winning poet and former versifier in residence at Dylan Thomas Birthplace
'A collection light at heart with poems reaching out to us as if postcards from Campbell's life.' – Georgina Wilding, creative director of Nottingham Poetry Festival, former Nottingham Young Poet Laureate
'The poems in Campbell's White Eye of the Needle serve, like the landform the book is named for, as both frame and portal. As a frame they help contain life's experiences of love and loss and, as a portal, they allow us to look through to the inner heart of what matters. The subtle use of rhyme, control of form and an attention to the things of life – olives, bicycles, clothes – give the collection colours and textures which sit comfortably alongside the white space within the poems, and the illustrations which complement them. This collection is an accomplished capturing of moments.' – Claire Dyer, poet and novelist, former chair of Reading Writers