The Bitters / Susie Campbell

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dancing girl press, 2014


Susie Campbell has a particular interest in prose poems and collage poems. Her work has appeared in journals such as Smiths Knoll, Shearsman, Envoi and Domestic Cherry. She recently completed her MA in Creative Writing at Oxford University. In 2013, she was awarded the inaugural F. H Pasby prize for the student who receives the highest mark on the course for a collection of poems that went on to form the basis of THE BITTERS. She is currently currently working on my first novel Burntwood which is set in an Edwardian Mental Asylum and takes further the Casebook stories which appear in THE BITTERS.


She is diamante
in rustling petticoat
he is looming gangster-thin
from his big white car
calling me
trip-trip-trip on tiny hooves
to see the little troll in the attic

She and I turn
into ice-cream cornets
make pastel milk from purple cows
strangers are forbidden
in this jealous kitchen
until we beckon

Furled with
the itch of secrets
I shiver
in her tin basin
of fizzing water
her fingers tight
around my wrist

We let them in
my brother
to a feast of plastic fish
my father to parley
she in white
and he some bird
of prey she says