Julia explained that the poems ‘are about my relationship with my body and with hospitals and doctors. In them I am trying to explore metaphors or to find a way to describe how it feels to have advanced breast cancer, and to let the body rather than the head be in charge. I am conversing with myself, trying to make sense of things’.
Jackie Kay wrote: ‘Anyone who has ever spent anytime 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. The poems are funny, irreverent, moving and never sentimental. You can recognise yourself in them, recognise your family. They are warm, full of compassion; Julia Darling’s imagination is a shining bright light.’
Julia wrote about the launch of the book in May 2003 on her blog