One year after publishing her first book of poems, Gerry van der Linden left the Netherlands for the USA. For the next four years, she lived and worked in New York and San Francisco. During that period, she read with Allen Ginsberg, met Laurence Ferlinghetti and continued to develop as a poet. In 1990 she published her second poetry collection, Val op de rand (Fall on the Edge). Certain characteristics of her later work emerged here: a playful yet passionate approach to language, a keen eye for the absurdity in our daily lives, a thematic preference for travelling, love and family. Van der Linden teaches Poetry and Creative Writing at the Amsterdam School of Writing (Schrijversvakschool) and is a writing coach. From 2005 until 2008 she was a member of the board of the Dutch PEN Center and led the Writers in Prison Committee. Alongside her ten collections of poetry to date, she has published three books of fiction. She also works as a visual artist. Gerry van der Linden was a poet in residence at La Porte Peinte in summer 2014.
I write poems that arise from looking around me. What’s happening around me and beyond gives me an idea, a thought, a question, a feeling of discomfort and anxiety. I have to do something with that, just as I have to breathe to live. It’s a need to capture and show the essence of anything in its own universe. A universe which I continually adjust and extend with a kind of language that’s often at odds with the concrete experience.