How I Searched for Myself in Schizophrenia

Roberta Payne has received degrees from top universities -- a BA in classics from Stanford, an MA in Italian from UCLA, an MA in romance languages from Harvard, and a PhD in comparative literature from the University of Denver -- but it is from her personal life that she's gained the knowledge most pertinent to her memoir, Speaking to My Madness: How I Searched for Myself in Schizophrenia.

Having suffered through alcoholism, schizophrenia, and cancer -- while sustaining a career teaching languages on the college level -- Payne has employed a literary approach to portraying these three deadly diseases, which brings unique perspective to her work.

Payne makes her home in Denver, Colorado, where she serves on the board of directors of The Mental Health Center of Denver. Her published work includes literary translations from Italian, short stories, and articles on schizophrenia. Her "outsider art," or art of the mentally ill**, has appeared on the cover of the mental health journal, Schizophrenia Bulletin.



A Selection of Modern Italian Poetry in Translation, 2004

Nomad Diary (a translation of Diario nomade, by Giovanni Cecchetti), 2004

Articles and Short Memoirs

“My Schizophrenia” in Psychological and Social Aspects of Psychiatric Disability, 1997

“Henry” in The Gettysburg Review, 2007

“Victoria” in Narrative Magazine, 2007

Poems of Giuseppe Ungaretti (translated with Lisa Dell Vandever) in Italian Poetry Review, 2009

“Night’s End” in Schizophrenia Bulletin, 2012

“Have You Ever Seen Such a Sight in Your Life” in Shenandoah, Fall 2013

"My Outsider Art" in Schizophrenia Bulletin, 2014

"Creativity and Schizophrenia" in Schizophrenia Bulletin, 2014

"Translation and Ethics in Psychiatry" in Oxford Handbook of Psychiatric Ethics, publication pending

**All art and website artwork by Roberta Payne.