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Pris Campbell has taken her lyrical skills into the realm of Tanka and owns it. Over 13 centuries old, this Japanese form, often referred to as “small songs”, are poetry of thought, feeling and personal reflection. Using symbolic, metaphorical and imaginative language, the author explores the passion, love and ultimate loss of a never-forgotten first love shaped and affected by the Vietnam War. These poems are courageous, honest and sensual and pay homage not only to her first-love, but her last, and in between, the sanctuary of the family. The poet’s love of the sea is woven throughout the book. As the title suggests, “Squall Line on the Horizon” reflects a poet who bravely addresses the past as a means to understanding the present, with eyes firmly kept on the horizon.

      Carole MacRury, Past Board Member, Tanka Society of America; Author of The Tang of Nasturtiums

Weight 5 oz

Read excerpts

wars stench

permeates the air between us –


‘you invade my space’,

door slammed behind you

· · ·

cloaked by clouds

that morphine moon

your spirit

slip-slides each night

back to that old war

· · ·


loud in the night

six months dead

and I still sometimes imagine

you’re really back in Vietnam

· · ·

squall line

on the far horizon

heart pounding

I double reef my sails

for whatever the night brings

About the Author

The free verse poetry of Pris Campbell has appeared in numerous journals, such as PoetsArtists, Rusty Truck, Bicycle Review, Boxcar Poetry Review, and Outlaw Poetry Network. Her last book, Squall Line on the Horizon, a book of romantic tanka, was published by Nixes Mate Books. Her haiku, tanka and haiga publications include Frogpond, cattails, Acorn, Haigaonline, One Hundred Gourds, and Failed Haiku. The Small Press has published six collections of her free verse poetry and Clemson University Press a seventh one, a collaboration. A former Clinical Psychologist, sailor and bicyclist until sidelined by ME/CFS in 1990, she makes her home in the Greater West Palm Beach, Florida.


Interviews, Reviews, Media

Copyright © 2017 Pris Cambell

Cover photograph by Michael McInnis

ISBN 978-0-692-85080-0

All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the publisher except for the use of brief quotations in a book review or scholarly journal.

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