Linda France


Linda France has published seven full collections of poetry and numerous small pamphlets and has been awarded several prizes and commendations, since the early 1990s. She often works with visual artists on collaborations either for public spaces or exhibitions.  More information is available on her website –  Linda lives in Northumberland, where she practices within the Thai Forest tradition, based at Harnham Buddhist Monastery.  She is currently researching new work based on plants and botanic gardens – see

Linda won this years National Poetry competition.

a sample from Heartwork

Writing a poem, I am working with the imagination, an intuitive awareness that is boundless, as spacious as I can allow it to be. This is important, this expansive mind, because I am trying to express the inexpressible, or even if not quite that, then the very, very complex. And the feeling of almost achieving it is quite sublime, wonderful; but only for a moment. It can’t be summoned or sustained by willpower alone. When the ink’s dry, a poem doesn’t matter as much as I thought it did, as I had to in order to write it. No one else cares about my vision, what I’ve seen and understood – I’ve been to that place alone, a place so intense that it is necessarily ephemeral, an island away from the rational, efficient mind. Poetry – again the writing and the reading of it – is in the end gloriously non-utilitarian. A poem should not mean/But be, wrote Archibald MacLeish, wordless/As the flight of birds.