Helen Harrison’s poetry is a celebration of the ordinary. She, as she says herself, loves that mid-air feeling,’ and somehow the line sums up what is good about her verse. We are brought for
long moments into the mainstream of other worlds, of the lives of country people. We meet the poet’ mother, potato peelings blocking
sink, no time to think. A farmer tills fields; another cuts wood, engaged in the necessary activities that create the rituals of life from which Helen’s poetry is drawn. Just as Helen has freed herself from the realm of her childhood peers, in their neat clipped lives, she releases us to contemplate wonder through the beauty of her lines. In dappled light my speckled thoughts take flight. Helen’s voice clear and lucid and her poetic vision is profound. Her love of nature is ever present as well as a passionate need to preserve it from human deprivations. Wildlife doesn’t mind the absence of humankind, she assures us. She shows her capacity to mine deep feeling, to emphasise with loss, in a poem to a recently passed-away father. You smelt the lake before you saw the edge, – aromas of a time before, – you absorbed the tears of a broken mother, while they put wet clay over your father. Balanced thought combined, strong emotion and perfectly wrought original lines in ‘The Last Fire’… Review by Carmen Cullen (author).
Helen was raised on the Wirral, seven miles from Liverpool by Irish parents, and has lived most of her adult life in Co Monaghan, Ireland. She has had poems published in The Poetry Shed, A New Ulster, Poethead, Mad Swirl, North West Words, Flare, Dodging The Rain, The Galway Review, Live Encounters Poetry, The Bray Journal and Orbis… Her first collection of poetry was published by Lapwing in 2015. Helen has been a guest reader at venues in Ireland including O’Bheal Poetry Readings in Cork, and The Whitehouse Readings in Limerick.