Paul-Henri Campbell during a reading in Leipzig 2012
Paul-Henri Campbell (born 1982) is a German-American author. He is a bilingual author of poetry and prose in English and German. He studied classical philology, with a concentration on ancient Greek, as well as Catholic theology at the National University of Ireland in Maynooth and at the Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main.
His work has led him on the search for modern-day mythologies. He describes his approach as mythical realism. Campbell’s contributions have been featured and published in German and American literary magazines including Lichtungen, World Literature Today, Hessischer Literaturebote, entwürfe, and Cordite Poetry Review.
Campbell was born in 1982 in Boston, Massachusetts to a former U. S. Army officer and a German nurse. He grew up in Massachusetts and moved with his family to Germany, where he completed his final secondary school examinations (Abitur) in Bavaria. Campbell was born with a serious heart condition and has carried a pacemaker since the age of 24. He also had a life-threatening brain tumor removed at the Boston Children’s Hospital at age 10, and has been epileptic ever since. Currently, he is preparing a dissertation in Foundational Theology at the Jesuit Seminary, Sankt Georgen, in Frankfurt/Main, Germany.
Works and views
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Alongside essays and narrative prose, Campbell mainly writes poetry. His poetry is based on modern-day mythologies that are staged in a number of scenic impressions like a sequence of snapshots. In doing so, he is close to the Symbolist tradition and the poetry of things (German: Dinggedicht). Inspired by Stéphane Mallarmé's poem Un Coup de Dés, Campbell is interested in poetry as language in print, that is: the relationship between poetic language and medium representing it. The characters making up a word or a line thus are to play with the surface of the pages holding them. In this way, Campbell attempts at highlighting the materiality of language (the materiality of the logos) as a significant and constitutive element of poetry. For this reason, his poems are never isolated pieces, but part in a large poetic movement, such as the cycle or a book dedicated to only a single theme. His lyrical themes involve things like the Pontiac Firebird Trans-Am, the A-train of the New York subway system, the aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk and speed-dating, or the Concorde. His poetry collection entitled Space Race, a lyrical incarnation of the mythologies surrounding the 20th-century pursuit of the moon, comprises precisely this tactic of conceptualization. The main focus is not on the individual poem, but its compositional place, position, and significance within the entire breath of a publication.
In January 2013, Paul-Henri Campbell has been called onto the editorial board of DAS GEDICHT, one of largest poetry magazines in the German language. Together with Michael Augustin and Anton G. Leitner he initiated the annual anthology DAS GEDICHT chapbook. German Poetry Now. Its goal is to present contemporary German poetry to an international audience in English translation.
- 2012 Dichtungsring, Bonn (Germany): Award in Translation.
- 2012 Poet-in-Residence, Dresden (Germany) (Finalist together with Carl-Christian Elze and Róža Domašcyna)
- Duktus Operandi. Poetry, ATHENA-Verlag, Oberhausen 2010.
- Meinwahnstraße. Short Stories, fhl-Verlag, Leipzig 2011.
- Space Race. Gedichte: Poems, fhl-Verlag, Leipzig 2012.
- space race. Gedichte, (new edition), Allitera Verlag, Munich 2015.
- Benedikt XVI. Audio Book, (speakers: Andreas Herrler and Mirko Kasimir), Monarda Publishing House, Halle/Saale 2012.
- At the End of Days | Am Ende der Zeilen. Gedichte:Poetry, fhl-Verlag, Leipzig 2013.
- nach den narkosen | after anesthesia. Wunderhorn Verlag, Heidelberg 2017.
- Paul-Henri Campbell (ed.): Sottorealism. Aris Kalaizis, Imhof-Verlag, Petersberg 2013.
- Ludwig Steinherr: All Ears, Lyrikedition 2000, Munich 2013 (translated by Paul-Henri Campbell).
- Michael Augustin, Anton G. Leitner, Paul-Henri Campbell (eds.): DAS GEDICHT chapbook. German Poetry Now, Weßling/Munich 2014.
- "Amerikaner dichtet auf Deutsch". Mitteldeutsche Zeitung. Retrieved 2012-09-16.
- "Leipziger Autoren zur Buchmesse: Mythologisch und realistisch - Paul-Henri Campbell". Leipziger Internet Zeitung. 2012-03-01. Retrieved 2012-09-16.
- WLT Pushcart Nominee 2013. Based on Vol. 87 No. 6 November 2013.
- Contributions to Cordite Poetry Review: Paul-Henri Campbell
- "Paul-Henri Campbell, Publications". Pual Henri Campbell.com. Retrieved 2012-09-16.
- "LITERATUR-Lichtungen, Vol. 130 No. XXXIII". Retrieved 2012-09-16.
- "Die Legende des Fresh Kills Landfills, Staten Island-entwürfe, Vol. 66". entwuerfe.ch. Retrieved 2012-09-16.
- etcetera, etcetera, Jubiläumsausgabe Nr. 50 , Essay: Literatur vor 2045, November 2012
- "Author's Profile". fhl-Verlag German Publisher. Retrieved 2012-09-16.
- "Interview mit Paul-Henri Campbell in Marias Nachtgespräch". Regio-TV-Stream.de. Retrieved 2012-09-16.
- Isis. The Mystical Child in: Knut Wenzel (ed.), Code of the Road Reclam 2012: 
- Literatur vor 2045
- Leipziger Internet Zeitung, Paul-Henri Campbells großer Gesang auf das Zeitalter der Raumfahrt: Space Race,  March 4, 2010
- Stéphane Mallarmé, Un Coup de Dés 
- buchreport, Lyrik des Glamours,  May 7, 2010
- Main-Echo, Sprachliche Schwerelosigkeit, May 5, 2012
- "Mit der Magie des Stirns aufgeladen" Interview with Paul-Henri Campbell in the Zurich based Tagesanzeiger
- buchreport, "Lyrik des Glamours",  May 7, 2010
- Bamberger Onlinezeitung, Meinen Sie, Zürich zum Beispiel? Oder doch lieber Klagenfurt, Worms, Weinheim, Cadenabbia? Am Ende gar Rom, kulinarisch, Wiehl? Dichter auf Reisen. 
- Dichtungsring, Computer automated translation versus human translation, 1. Prize winner  See also in print: Dichtungsring. Vol. 41 2012, 21 de julho, 2012
- Literarisches Dresden e.V., Webseite, 
- Leipziger Internet Zeitung, Die grotesken Geschichten eines Amerikaners aus Leipzig,  July 31, 2011| Ralf Julke wrote in his review: "[There are situations] in which it is absolutely unclear whether what is being experienced, actually has anything to do with love. Or if it is an obsession, a glitch in the economy of emotions, or even a delusion. True love? – No. Certainly not. Thematically, a lot of Campbell's narratives could possibly be found in the work of Raymond Carver. Even though in the case of Carver, the stories would not have the consequences which they have here. Because: Campbell's stories decidedly have consequences. They are not only stories of human relationships that are all somehow instable, abysmally filled by voids and depths, insecurities, false bottoms. They also have a strong inclination towards finalizing their catastrophe."
- Publik-Forum, Faires Porträt des Papstes, reviewed by Norbert Copray January 11, 2013 p. 58
- Süddeutsche Zeitung Nr. 281 SZ Extra "Die Redaktion empfiehlt Woche 5. - 11. Dezember" S. 6-7.
- Apocalypse Now: Reality and Myth in At the End of Days by Paul-Henri Campbell Review by Sabina Barreto February 2014
- Wolfgang Schlott: lyrische Traktate, KUNO , May 2014
- World Literature Today, Nota Bene, DAS GEDICHT Chapbook. German Poetry Today  |"Pegasus & Rosinante presents a selection of German poems and essays translated into English. Emerging and already established writers are revealed in this sleek volume. Inspired by its predecessor of twenty-one years (Das Gedicht), this first English edition showcases a rare and living assortment of voices writing in the German language."