Erik Campbell’s poems and essays have appeared or are forthcoming in New Letters, Tin House, The Iowa Review, The Southern Poetry Review, The Massachusetts Review, The Virginia Quarterly Review, Rattle, and other literary journals. His first poetry collection, Arguments for Stillness (Curbstone Press 2006), was named by Book Sense as one of the top ten poetry collections for 2007. A high school English teacher for many years, he is currently an adjunct professor of English at Nebraska Wesleyan University.
The Corpse Pose
Publication Date: January 15, 2016
In The Corpse Pose, his sophomore collection, poet Erik Campbell leads and follows us through the fast-paced, grainy static of global postmodernity, in which Zeus is overthrown by Google, and the only reliable deus ex machina to a suburban childs call for help is the arrival of the Kool-Aid Man. Campbells The Corpse Pose understands the hard certainties of flux and decayholding them at bay with a rueful, yet tender, nostalgia for the artful and elegant whimsies of anachronism.
“With a bruised and elegiac hindsight, Erik Campbell cognitively maps the existential crevices of history and memory, both personal and collective, in these smart, deft, and delightfully wry poems. Through the fast-paced grainy static of global postmodernity, in which Zeus is overthrown by Google, and the only reliable deus ex machina to a suburban child’s call is the arrival of the Kool-Aid Man, Campbell understands the hard certainties of flux and decay holding them at bay with a rueful, yet tender, nostalgia for the artful and elegant whimsies of anachronism. Here, the peripatetic rootlessness of an adventurous young couple is held in tension with the more brutal uprootings of an unraveling marriage and a father’s death, and in the midst of this topsy-turvy cartography, Campbell writes, [u]nless we close our eyes / we can’t find where we used to be anywhere. Both scathingly hilarious and heart-rending, The Corpse Pose is a gorgeous collection.”—Lee Ann Roripaugh, Author of Dandarians
“Whenever I forget why I fell in love with poetry, I reread Erik Campbell?s books. No other poet alive writes with such unerring purpose, or with such consistent lyricism and wit. Like the best of companions, he finds equal room for both humor and heartbreak. These are desert island poems for a world that feels increasingly like a desert island. They give the gift of knowing that we’re not alone.”—Timothy Green, editor of Rattle