About

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Reading from The Mother Country at Hawkwood College, Stroud, UK, June 19

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Helen has passionately pioneered a career as an ecopoet since becoming 'Bard of Bath', in the annual competition in 2003, and her work is now internationally acclaimed and supported by both Arts Council England and the Royal Literary Fund.

 

Nowadays based in S.W. England, Helen grew up in Seer Green, Bucks, a sleepy S.E. English village that transformed through her childhood, with fields and cherry orchards bulldozed to make way for housing estates and gated mansions, as the place became prime stockbroker belt.

 

Helen has degrees in literature from Oxford and Edinburgh Universities, and is an experienced Forest School leader, having led environmental education/outdoor wellbeing projects for over a decade.

 

And whilst her ecopoetry is taught and studied in several universities worldwide, Helen loves to teach Nature-inspired writing herself. For more details, please visit her Workshops page.

 

For Helen's online mentoring service, Wild Ways to Writing, click here.

 

To date Helen has published three poetry collections, Hedge Fund, And Other Living Margins (Shearsman Books, 2012), ECOZOA (Permanent Publications, 2015) and The Mother Country (Awen Publications 2019), which explores legacies of the British Empire, including personal, social and ecological dispossession.  Helen toured the UK with her new book over the three month period May-July 2019, giving readings in 12 different locations. 

Helen is currently writing a narrative non-fiction book, part Nature study, part memoir. She's also enjoying her creative explorations of short fiction and is working towards a fourth poetry collection.

Launch event at Edinburgh's Lighthouse Books, June 19

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Community arts projects

Helen has collaborated on a range of socially and ecologically oriented projects, which are detailed more fully on another page.

 

In July 2016, she completed a 21 month long residency with ‘Last Tree Dreaming’, which was awarded Heritage Lottery funding to raise awareness of the heritage and future of Selwood Forest in the Somerset market town of  Frome, UK.

In this short film Helen talks about aspects of the project.

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Birdwatching with a 'Wildlife & Wellbeing' group, May 2018

Environmental education and outdoor wellbeing

Having co-founded Shared Earth Learning in 2010 – a co-operative enterprise running Forest School and outdoor wellbeing groups in Somerset – Helen co-directed the company until August 2020, co-leading groups that have supported hundreds of children, young people and adults to deepen their Nature connection, develop a range of practical skills, and improve their wellbeing.

Whilst based in NE Scotland between 2016 – 2018, Helen led a range of outdoor wellbeing programmes with Earth for Life CIC across Grampian Region. These included Forestry Commission's 'Branching Out', and programmes she co-designed in-house, such as 'Wildlife & Wellbeing', which offered participants the opportunity to engage in 'Citizen Science' by recording and reporting wildlife sightings to local conservation agencies.