4 May 2023 – It is with deep sadness that we report the untimely death of Rose Collins, who lost her battle with cancer yesterday.

While this is a tragedy of immeasurable proportions for Rose’s family and friends, it is also a loss to the writing community.

What we have lost is not just a talented writer, teacher and friend, but we have lost possibilities. Rose’s debut book of poetry, My Thoughts are all of Swimming signalled a distinct developing poetic talent.

We mourn Rose’s passing. We miss her and what might have been.


the tide is a thing that moves
lean and sometimes hungry 
for sand, silt or grit
the foam and the form of it …

from ‘My thoughts are all of swimming’

My thoughts are all of swimming
by Rose Collins

published by Sudden Valley Press
Available from August 2022
ISBN: 9780473635848
paperback; 100 p.
rrp $25

Described by Paula Green as “a breathtaking album you want on repeat” (full review here), My Thoughts Are All of Swimming is the award-winning debut poetry collection of Rose Collins.

This highly accomplished, beautifully ordered collection of consistently stunning poems, ranges from the wide-lensed beginning to a focus on the particular, from crater to soup bowl … There is a steadiness of tone, a poise, an assured fully-developed voice, clear-seeing, measuring, at times almost forensic … This contest of two forces is where the pleasure of poetry lies.

My thoughts are all of swimming is a remarkable collection, not just for its range or titles or skill, but for the sense it builds of the poet as a personality … whatever the subject Rose Collins has the enviable ability to be both present and an observer at the same time. My thoughts are all of swimming has the best kind of style, the subsumed kind that accentuates personality rather than diminishes it.


            Last summer these same girls clutched
            hands through the dark wood – 
            looking for a well-spring
            in the Green Heart of Germany.
            Now they lift the grubbers high 
            in the glancing sun …

from ‘Three visitors’

Here is a finely attuned sensibility at work in the house of poetry. Her range of artistic and aesthetic attention is astonishing. As I read and read again and listen to what the intimacy of the eye and the ear create, I know that this is a composer-poet making things happen. That despite all the darkness there is in this staggering world, this is a poetry that is alive with the music of dark hope. 


the body is not a dictatorship
you and I are free of it
we learnt this when we 
began to stretch and spin and twist
coming home is a long gallery
the air spits with static and you may 
find the cold moon through the egg-round window
seems to face the wrong way
my friend, write it down for me.

from ‘While the radios are tuned you write letters home

We are taken into the wonder and the menace of myth and fairy tale, with breadcrumb trails, epic journeys, bees that listen, magical swans, children lost in the woods… and of course, as in all good fairy tales, the menace at the edge of everything…. the poems at times look at this danger head-on, and those poems make for uncomfortable reading, but they feel brave and important.


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