Robert Campbell – In the Herald of Improbable Misfortunes

In the Herald of Improbable Misfortunes
Robert Campbell

Etchings Press, UIndy
ISBN 978-0-9903475-8-3
32 pages
Available May 2018: Order Today


An enchanting poetry collection about dreams, dreamers, and otherworldly happenings, In the Herald of Improbable Misfortunes will captivate you through ornate imagery. Campbell brings animals and inanimate objects to life.


In this book, “Dreams are not merely our pretty/theater of elsewhere—there’s/a wildness unsanctioned.” Robert Campbell, dear reader, is here to lead you through that wilderness, where everything—the deer, the grass, and even the factory—is dreaming. With a sharp wit and a sly irreverence, these are poems that reach through the dream, toward an uncertain awakening.

-Matthew Olzmann, author of Contradictions in the Design and Mezzanines

In the title poem of Robert Campbell’s fine chapbook, the speaker announces: “This/is our duty, to inform you of developments/and departures, of every last unhappening.” Throughout In the Herald of Improbable Misfortunes, mystery—conundrum, enigma, dreamlike revelation—is given a voice and a vision through extraordinary messengers such as deer, opossums, angels with their “barbed artilleries of red.” Each image, line, and stanza combine to create secular testaments, both Old and New in their revelations. These poems herald the worldview and the arrival of a very fine poet.

-Pamela Johnson Parker, author of Cleave

In the Herald of Improbable Misfortunes is intimate and strange, cutting and tender. When I read Robert Campbell’s collection, I want to share the lines with everyone in earshot. These poems, “animal” and “true,” they “trouble,” they “heartache,” they make you want to “fall upon the rocks and sing.”

-Blas Falconer, author of The Foundling Wheel and A Question of Gravity and Light


About the Author

Robert Campbell HeadshotRobert Campbell’s poetry and criticism have appeared in Tupelo Quarterly, The Collagist, Columbia Poetry Review, River Styx, Ninth Letter, Asheville Poetry Review, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, Sundog Lit, Zone 3, The Adroit Journal, and many other journals. Twice nominated for the Pushcart Prize, short-listed for the 2015 Black Warrior Review Poetry Contest, third place winner of the 2013 River Styx International Poetry Contest, and previous winner of the Flo Gault Poetry Prize through Sarabande Books, Robert holds an MFA in Poetry from Murray State University and an MS in Library Science from the University of Kentucky. He lives with his partner and animals on a winding country road in the bluegrass region of Kentucky. Learn more about Robert Campbell at his web site.


About the 2018 Novella Production Team

Etchings Press is UIndy’s teaching press and publishing laboratory. Our students engage with writers from across the country. In the Chapbook and Novella Contest each spring, students read and judge submissions and then edit and publish winning chapbooks and a novella, like In the Herald of Improbable Misfortunes by Robert Campbell.

This book’s student production team is Rochelle Bauer and Savannah Harris.

Rochelle Bauer is currently a junior at the University of Indianapolis majoring in Actuarial Science, minoring in Mathematics. She is a member of the Strain Honors College and has managed to finagle the creation of her own poetry chapbook as her Honors Project. With this class, she’s now had the opportunity to see the publishing and editing side of lovely little masterpieces. She’ll still go on to write poetry after college, but preferably and eventually within the walls of fancy-shcmancy six-million dollar waterfront property, sitting atop a stack of her published works.


Savannah Harris is currently a freshmen University of Indianapolis majoring in English-creative writing.

Interview with the Author

The interview below was conducted by Etchings Press editor Rochelle Bauer in April 2018.

Campbell Interview Text #1

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Campbell Interview Text #4


Interested in supporting future student editors at UIndy while receiving Robert Campbell’s chapbook and the other 2018 Etchings Press titles and lit magazines? Learn how to become a 2018 Friend of Etchings Press today!