“Need more tea!” | Reflections on “The Hungry Ghost Festival” by Jen Campbell

There are some freaking brilliant people, aren’t there? And it’s even more brilliant when they write!
To finish off my February with some writing I knew I would enjoy, I picked up the wonderful poetry collection Jen Campbell put together, “The Hungry Ghost Festival”.
As expected, I enjoyed it immensely. No surprise, since her short story collection “The Beginning of the World in The Middle of the Night” went straight onto my list of favorite short story collections.
In a very excited and enthusiastic state, I filmed a annotation flip through.
Luckily, the wonderful, considerate Jen then made me aware of the whole copyright issue coming along with that.
Someone could have just read the whole collection without actually tracking down the book themselves.
Oh gosh, what was I thinking?! (Sorry and thanks again, Jen!) How would Jen put it? “Need more tea!” Definitely :P!
So, here we are for sharing what the collection actually deserves, a proper reflection that makes you hopefully go out and get it for yourself.

As Jen has a wonderful Youtube channel and is generally very open to share her passions with others, I was in the very privileged position to have a little author background while reading actually both collections.
In her poetry collections, the personal experiences are very, very tangible and clear. Not just her personal experiences, but your very own. Not just the fact that they made you feel you where there with the narrator, but also sparking your memories.
Imagine the poems I’ve wrote after reading it.
Jen used names in various poems and that’s something I love about poetry. Making it a memory while being universal. I think that’s what I would sum the collection as a whole and definitely one of Jen’s many strengths!

Another thing I appreciated a lot about this collection was the way it was written. Always something new sparked up in the poems, a new style, a new use of language or layout, yet still there was this very specific “Jen-tone” to the poems.
I’ve struggled a lot with that when writing my own poetry; experiment and still have my own voice. And for that, Jen’s writing was once more an inspiration.

It’s wonderful to have another so engaged. You learn a lot then, in many different ways…


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