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Helen Bowell

Poet / Producer / Editor / Critic

Hello! I'm Helen, a writer based in London. My debut pamphlet The Barman was published by Bad Betty Press in 2022, and was selected as the Poetry Book Society Summer 2022 Pamphlet Choice. At turns domestic and surreal, it traces the relationship between the speaker and an unnamed barman backwards through time. Find out more about the book and order a copy from me here.

You can find my full biog here, but here are a few highlights about what I do.

I am a co-director of Dead [Women] Poets Society, a live literature organisation which "resurrects" women poets of the past, and which recently completed an Arts Council England funded national tour. In 2020, we guest-edited an issue of Modern Poetry in Translation with a focus on dead women poets.

I'm a Ledbury Poetry Critic and have had reviews published in Magma, The North and Poetry Wales. I'm also a graduate of The Writing Squad, the London Library Emerging Writers programme, the London Writers Awards and the Roundhouse Poetry Collective. My poetry has been commended in Winchester, Verve and Mslexia's competitions and published in magazines and anthologies like Ambit, bath magg, Butcher's Dog, fourteen poems, Under the Radar, 100 Poems to Save the Earth and The Book of Bad Betties. I've also had three co-translations of Classical Chinese poems published in Modern Poetry in Translation and Poetry London.

I've taught workshops on nature poetry, poetic form and the surreal for organisations like Spread the Word and Creative Future; I've also facilitated translation workshops for the Poetry Translation Centre. In 2021, I was Poetry Business's digital poet in residence and wrote 'plant portraits' on demand at Kew Gardens' Secret World of Plants festival. I have read at The London Library Lit Fest, Southbank Centre's London Literature Festival and Brainchild Festival.

In my day job, I work at The Poetry Society, where I edit Young Poets Network, send poets into schools and bring general good vibes.

I'm interested in in-betweenness, queerness, medieval legends, language(s) and the surreal. I also play the cello! If you have any projects for me, get in touch.

Photo: Kashif Haque.

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