'Finding the Words' by Colin Campbell '96 to be Published by Penguin Random House in March 2023

Anastasia Ellis
December 02, 2022

A new book by Directing alumnus Colin Campbell ’96, called Finding the Words: Working Through Profound Loss with Hope and Purpose, is set to be released March 14, 2023 by Penguin Random House. The book is a powerful account of Campbell’s navigation through unimaginable grief. Campbell offers readers a vision for how to embrace and mourn indescribable loss, drawing on his personal experience of losing his two teenage children in a car crash caused by a drunk driver. 

While Campbell struggled through the immediate aftermath of his children’s deaths, he devoured books on managing grief and was confronted with a commonly used condolence: “there are no words.” Finding this sentiment unhelpful, Campbell strove to find real, active ways to honor what he had lost. With that goal in mind, Finding the Words offers an alternative, vocal, lively path for processing pain and keeping memories of lost loved ones alive. Campbell writes that “love and loss are inextricably linked. Grief is a universal human experience… I wrote this book in the hopes of making grief less frightening, mysterious, and lonely for those of us who suddenly find ourselves on this difficult journey.”

Finding the Words is currently available for pre-order through numerous online bookstores. Browse pre-order options here

Campbell is a theatre and film director based in California. He and his wife, Gail Lerner, are both alumni of the Directing concentration’s class of 1996. The pair share an Academy Award nomination and the Grand Prix award from the Deauville American Film Festival for their short film Seraglio (2000). Campbell has taught Theatre and Filmmaking at Chapman University, Loyola Marymount University, Cal Poly Pomona University, and to incarcerated youth through the Los Angeles-based company, The Unusual Suspects. His one-man show, titled Grief: A One Man ShitShow, premiered at the 2022 Hollywood Fringe Festival, where it won a Best of Broadwater Award. His production of his play, Golden Prospects, was nominated for five LA Weekly awards and was a Critic’s Pick in TimeOut NY and the LA Times. His webseries, Dealbreakers, is on Amazon Prime. Campbell regularly writes for Instant Films.