Episode 44: Linda Collins – Sign language for the Death of Reason

Picture: Oamaru Mail

Linda Collins is a poet from New Zealand and currently living in Norwich. She found poetry following the death of her 17-year-old daughter which led to extensive writing and studying and the publication of her collection Sign Language for the Death of Reason.

Linda talks about how to address tragic and difficult experiences in life and shares some poems from her book. She also offers the following exercise:

Write a poem based on the stupid things people have said to you following a painful situation in your life.

Reflecting on difficult, hurtful experiences might be uncomfortable but putting your thoughts down on paper can be cathartic, even if you don’t come up with a poem. You might also take inspiration from things that people have said to other people you know.

You are, as always, encouraged to share any poems you write. Please send them here for possible inclusion on the blog or on future podcasts.

Linda Collins (she/her) has a debut poetry collection, Sign Language for the Death of Reason (Math Paper Press),  and is the author of the memoir Loss Adjustment (Ethos Books Singapore; Awa Press New Zealand).  She is runner-up in the Mslexia Poetry Contest, and was shortlisted for the Bridport Prize in Poetry last year. She’s doing the Poetry MA at UEA.

You can learn more about her work and her daughter, Victoria, on her website: lindacollinswriter.com

If you’ve been affected by the issues discussed in this episode help is always available. The Samaritans can be contacted 24 hours a day on 116 123 or samaritans.org in the UK.

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Books by many of the poets featured on the podcast are available from the Poetry Non-Stop bookshop here. All books purchased via this link help to raise money to keep this podcast going.

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