Helen Burke

Helen Burke was born in Doncaster, 1953, and started writing poetry in the 1970s.  Since then she has amassed an impressive record of competition victories, including the Manchester International, the Suffolk Poetry Prize, and the Ilkley Literature Performance Poetry Prize (twice).

Her work has been published in Rialto, New Welsh Review, Northwords, Dreamcatcher, as well as in numerous pamphlets and anthologies.  In 2011, Valley Press published The Ruby Slippers, her first full-length collection, offering readers an overview of her sparkling forty-year poetry career to date.

Helen is a keen practitioner of live performance, and has appeared at many different arts venues, theatres and festivals. She also writes plays and short stories; her work for the theatre was performed at the York Literature Festival, and a short story will appear in the anthology Women Writing the Weird in Autumn 2011.

She has also written for the radio, and is currently working as a visual artist; her art work appears on front cover, back cover and interior of The Ruby Slippers.
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Helen first got into poetry when reading the work of Dylan Thomas, and he is still her favourite poet.

She loves 'the lyricism, the sound of the words pouring out of the page... taking no prisoners', and also reckons 'he dares to walk the edge.'
The Ruby Slippers
11th June 2011

A poetry landmark, collecting thirty-one of the finest poems from Helen's remarkable forty-year career.  Uproariously funny and deeply touching (sometimes both within a single line), this is a book guaranteed to delight and move readers of all ages.  (read more)