The Girl Aquarium by Jen Campbell
Jen Campbell’s first collection The Girl Aquarium explores the realm of rotten fairy tales, the possession of body and the definition of beauty. Weaving between whispered science and circus, she turns a cracked mirror on society and asks who gets to control the twisted tales hiding in the wings.
Semifinalist for the Goodreads Choice Awards 2019 (Best Poetry category)
Shortlisted for the poetry category of the Books Are My Bag Readers Awards 2019
'The Girl Aquarium, Jen Campbell’s first collection, creates a thrilling world in which consumption plays its role in destruction – but through the consumption of self-mythology and archetypes. The twisting of the fairy tale allows Campbell to explore consumption and projection, and fight the amalgamation or commodification of these archetypes (the mermaid, the princess, the angel, the witch) through constant metamorphosis. The collection has a menacing quality, with each piece working like a rite or spell, naming and invoking.' - Elizabeth Ridout, The North
‘It’s all about girls and bodies and nature and beauty and fairy tales. There’s darkness and there’s love and friendship. I loved the themes running through it and how they were able to connect the different poems together to weave this story… I really loved this.’ – Sanne, Booksandquills (My 10 Favourite Books of 2019 video), on The Girl Aquarium
'Poetry of innocence and wonder. Poetry of darkness and deformation. The poems about girlhood experiences are daringly original.’ – Daljit Nagra
‘I can’t help shivering as I read it.’ – Alice Oswald, on ‘On Crucifixion’