Sudden Collapses in Public Places Poetry Book Society recommendation
Julia Darling's first poetry collection is about breast cancer - but it is not in the least bit morbid, nor is it aimed only at women. In her words:
Poetry gave me a voice to express the comedy and tragedy of my illness.
Anyone who has ever spent any time in a hospital or in a hospital waiting room will love these poems; anyone who has ever been to the doctor or felt ill or had to fill in a form will love these poems. That covers everyone. Here are poems about a difficult, scary subject, cancer, that circle around it lightly, on light dancing feet, and every so often whack you on the head. Oddly enough, Sudden Collapses is compulsively readable...
Observant, inventive, witty, wildly funny at times and wholly unsentimental. The sternest curmudgeon will be hooked by her blend of pragmatism, romance, anarchy and art.
Sean O'Brien, Sunday Times
In its courage, originality and steadfastness, this book consistently transforms 'the art of losing' into an art of finding - an intense and moving exploration that the reader is privileged to share.
Julia Darling's poetry is one of those rare cases where everything fits: voice, form, subject are all pulled into an apparently effortless, highly accessible harmony. The poet seems to be telling us nothing we suffer is beyond our humanity, and our pleasures only increase the stock. It's extremely unusual to recognise an actual individual in his / her poetry, but not only does Julia Darling accomplish this, I think she manages an even more unlikely feat: she makes her experiences knowable to us as an ordinary part of life. That kind of contact, that kind of intimacy, is a precious resource. Don't pass it up.
W. N. Herbert
Published May 2003
ISBN 1 900072 91 2 Published May 2003
About Julia Darling