Jenna Clake’s Museum of Ice Cream is part simulation, part internal monologue, part attempt to reach out. An uncanny examination of objects, scenes, and flavours, these poems explore how food can connect and divide, can feel isolating and terrifying: public and private jars of peanut butter, a tray of lemons, unfurling chocolate bar wrappers. In turning to television, childhood films, and social media accounts, her collection investigates how to reveal and conceal, what it means to have a secret, to be intimate, to navigate something that should be natural, but feels sickly, sour, and wrong.
Museum of Ice Cream is Jenna Clake’s second collection, following her debut Fortune Cookie (2017), winner of an Eric Gregory Award and the Melita Hume Poetry Prize, which was also shortlisted for a Somerset Maugham Award.
‘The trajectory between Clake’s debut collection and Museum of Ice Cream is logical but still beautifully unexpected: the linguistic precision and surreal swerves are stronger than ever, but something deepens and resonates as the voice transitions from instructive, to consoling, to lost, often within the same stanza. These are poems of such sadness and grace; fear transfigured by a powerful imagination into endlessly explorable terrains. Not so much to guide as to reach out to you in your own maze of confusion, wonder and dread; which is all I ever really ask of poetry.’ – Luke Kennard