Definitions of Distance



My debut pamphlet, Definitions of Distance, containing 18 poems written between 2008 and 2011, is published on 10th May 2012 by Red Squirrel Press.


"Jake Campbell is a poet of place. His North-East is full of details – Talk Sport, Calippos, B&Q toilets, an envelope slipping down the back of a radiator, ‘The Rotary Club’s PA’ smacking out ‘I’m blue, dab a de, dab a di’. Though aware that we never escape our landscape histories, Campbell’s ugly-beautiful language always feels new: mud is ‘chewy’, swans’ necks are ‘dodgem cables’, a streak of piss is ‘crystal thin/ as turned off fibre/ optics’. It is a voice you believe in: precise, warm and full of courage."

- Clare Pollard


"I once went for a walk with Jake Campbell, along the south bank of the River Tyne. Most congenial company, he told intriguing tales of his native South Shields, of all the Tyneside boroughs, the one with the most distinctive character, I think, slung as it is between river and sea, between Toon and Mackem: a world that has found its voice in these pages, pleasing, mellifluous, full of humour and tenderness. Enjoy what follows: I did, very much. Gan on, Jake lad!"
- Michael Chaplin



"Jake Campbell tracks the geographic and psychic space that has surrounded him his entire life and seeks to articulate all of its endearing intricacies. Campbell candidly poeticizes his Northeast and suffuses the minor moments of life with acute thematic depth. Appositely placed in the centre of the collection, [‘Definitions of Distance’] translates space into a swimming pool where ‘we / float through each other’s ripples; / kicking, pulling / over this chasm / of loving from far away’. The collection’s title poem establishes the over-arching agenda of his poetry, the tension of how to maintain an attachment to a space you now only fleetingly inhabit."
- Nathan Ouriach 

"Campbell's Definitions of Distance is a strong, well put together collection and shows promise of great things to come for this poet."
- Lydia Laws