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.
'Filled with strawberry-flavoured images and sunset-coloured scenes, these poems are luminous and funny, yet aching with painful secrets. Who can resist a title like 'self-portrait as a pink dressing room' or 'Oyster Delight'?' - Phoebe Power, The Poetry Society (Poetry books of 2021), on Museum of Ice Cream
'Clake’s poems have a combative sensuality, exposing readers unapologetically to the mulch on the tongue, the bloat in the gut. There is a complex process at work here; the conflicting preoccupations associated with food are communicated through a tissue of precise images, often deployed in hectic, enjambed lines.' - Phoebe Walker, Times Literary Supplement, on Museum of Ice Cream
'Clake’s humour remains of consistently high quality, her delivery and execution never faltering. Museum of Ice Cream is essentially a triumph of a second collection. I highly recommend visiting this most curious of museums.' - Charlie Baylis, The North
‘I’d strongly recommend Jenna Clake’s new collection, The Museum of Ice Cream, which explores how the demands of the modern world intensify and add complexity to troubled relationships with food. These poems feel fresh, personal and vivid and are always involving and memorable.’ - Will Mackie, New Writing North (New Poetry from the North, Summer 2021)
‘Her style – a surface of prosy, deadpan absurdism, with darker currents underneath – owes something to the late American poet James Tate…’ – Tristram Fane Saunders, Poem of the Week, The Telegraph. on Museum of Ice Cream
'The second collection from Eric Gregory award winner Jenna Clake, Museum of Ice Cream, has the mesmeric capacity to be at once inviting and isolating, relatable and disorientating. The reader is twisted through simulations and tantalising snippets, drawn out of context into an absurd realm overshadowed by our relationship with food, with ourselves, and with others. Wry and poignant, this is a fascinating collection.' - Poetry Book Society Bulletin
'Above all, Museum of Ice Cream seems to be about the loneliness of illness and obsession... This is not writing that consoles, but recognises and investiages suffering, asking you to stay with it for a while. It commands quiet attention and tenderness from a reader.' - Bryony Littlefair, Acumen
'Following on from her debut collection Fortune Cookie, Jenna Clake’s new collection of poetry examines objects, scenes and flavours, exploring how food can both connect and divide. 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.' - Zoe Turner, The F-Word (best fiction and non-fiction coming in 2021)
‘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
'There’s a scoop of Kennardishness in Jenna Clake’s Museum of Ice Cream, its humour belying her subject; the toll of an eating disorder.' – Tristram Fane Saunders, The Telegraph (Christmas Books, 2021)
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