Brian Campbell, A Private Collection


01 Private Collection cover scan

1st edition, 50 copies: November 2014
ISBN: 978-0-9868890-3-5
Price: $25 CDN/US including shipping
36 pages
16 poems, with colour plates of art works on facing pages
Status: In Print

A series of ekphrastic poems inspired by works of art in Brian Campbell’s home, this collection celebrates not only of the art works but their creators, all of whom are or were Brian’s acquaintances or friends. By turns quirky, warm, poignant and elegiac,  the poems are presented with colour plates of the art that inspired them on facing pages. Featured artists: Nathalie Trépanier, Barbara Sala, Mary Hayes, Sekai, Jocelyne Dubois, Allen Sutterfield, Jennifer Blachford, Olga Maksimova, Kerin Nointel, Michel Rioux, Vasilije Bukcev. A magazine-sized “mini-coffee table book”, this is visually perhaps the most striking Sky of Ink production to date.

Praise for A Private Collection:

“What a beautiful book: the images are clear and large, which is very pleasant. And their juxtaposition with the poems makes for such a gratifying read. The colours and lines mixed in with the words are very rich, sense-wise.

I really enjoyed Campbell’s fascination with sounds. His choice of words makes for explosive poems; they really jump out of the page.

I especially like poems where he begins to imagine a narrative and step out and behind the painting, as in “Brothers.” The painting starts to move, talk, and create a story with that poem. Or in “Mask,” where the narrator interacts with the object and we get the story of acquisition. All beautiful additions to the visual works…”

— Branka Petrovic, author of Mechanics of a Gaze


Here, a video of the first few minutes of the private launch in Brian’s home in the evening of Sat. Nov. 8, 2014.


(after the sculpture by Nathalie Trépanier)

Me an owl
a tired owl
dazed owl
gazing out
through zany pie eyes—
cherry pie, apple pie
of swirling gears and metal plates
I’m a deft contraption, whimsical construction
that a sculptress wrenched, glued, bent
feathers of spoons and spaghetti tongs
fork feet twisted round a branch
supported by a lamp stand
but yes I’m tired, tired
still standing, barely
my heart a rusty clock
crooked, crocked
ticker stuck
at twenty to nine
after a whole night flying
whole night crying
whoo am I
whoo am I
whoo am I