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Linda reading

Linda France, 2016.
Photo: Phyllis Christopher

LINDA FRANCE was born in Newcastle upon Tyne. After some time living away, she moved back to the North East in 1981. She is currently based close to Hadrian’s Wall, near Hexham, in Northumberland. Her poetry collections include The Simultaneous Dress (Bloodaxe 2002) and The Toast of the Kit Cat Club (Bloodaxe 2005), a biography in verse of the 18th century traveller and writer Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, book of days, a year renga, with ceramic fragments by Sue Dunne (Smokestack Books 2009) and You are Her (Arc Publications 2010).

Of her latest collection, Reading the Flowers (Arc 2016), Vicki Feaver wrote: ‘Reading the Flowers is a book to read and reread. By sticking to her subject – not just the flowers of the title but also trees and grass and the insects and birds, and humans who interact with them – Linda France has created a collection of poems as various and extraordinary and marvellous as the creations of nature it celebrates. It is a work of scholarship and imagination and precise observation: learned, sexy, witty, personal and moving. The poems are as perfect as poems can be: their language rich and seductive and exquisitely judged. They sing in the way poems should.’

Linda also edited the acclaimed anthology Sixty Women Poets (Bloodaxe 1993). She has worked on a number of collaborations with visual artists and musicians and around 40 Public Art projects. Linda was Leverhulme Artist in Residence at Moorbank Botanic Garden, University of Newcastle in 2010-11. She is 2015-16 Creative Writing Fellow at Leeds University. Linda also won First Prize in the 2013 National Poetry Competition with her poem ‘Bernard and Cerinthe’.