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Helen is co-facilitating, with Jonathan Baxter, Sarah Gittens and James P Spence, The Braid Walk project for ArtWalkPorty – walking from the source of the Figgate Burn in Portobello-mouth of Bonaly Burn in the Pentlands, braiding poetry, art and ecology.
Lovecrumbs, 26 May
Edinburgh Bookshop, 13 July
Helen Boden BA PhD grew up on the edge of the Yorkshire Pennines, and lives on the edge of the Pentland Hills outside Edinburgh, Scotland. She is a writer, educator and editor with a longstanding interest in the relationship between wellbeing, walking and creativity. A widely published poet, she also blogs on this site, and writes creative non-fiction and articles on subjects ranging from education to hillwalking. In addition to degrees in English Literature, she holds certificates Counselling Skills and in Mindfulness. She is a professional member of the Society of Authors and National Association of Writers in Education.
Her début poetry collection A Landscape To Figure In was published by Red Squirrel Press in November 2021 and selected for Scottish Book Trust / Creative Scotland Debut Lab 2022
She also makes place-specific work and collaborates with visual artists to write responsive poems for artists’ books and pamphlets. She has recently featured in anthologies to mark the centenaries of Edwin Morgan’s and George Mackay Brown’s births, the 700th anniversary of the Declaration of Arbroath, the relationship of geology and poetry, and the Covid-19 era.
As well as print, her work spans digital, exhibition and performance formats, and has featured at festivals including StAnza, Pittenweem and Push the Boat Out.
She has extensive experience of presenting on poetry & place, including for: BBC Radio, Universities of Manchester and Strathclyde, Cycling UK, Refugee Survival Trust, Historic Scotland, National Galleries Scotland.
A former lecturer in English & Scottish Literature at Edinburgh University, she has worked as an independent Literature Professional since 2003, facilitating creative writing activities across a broad range of community, healthcare, educational, cultural and environmental settings. Particular interests include writing and visual art, and site-specific ‘writing in place’ / writing outdoors. She specialises in socially-engaged arts education for adults, and offers tutoring, mentoring and reading / editorial services for individual clients. Please see the relevant pages for more information, and the following professional profiles:
Dear Helen, My wife, Debby, and I so appreciated the workshop you led at Stanza 2013 a few weeks ago. Because of your work encouraging creative writing as a contributor to wellbeing, I thought you may enjoy Marilyn Chandler McEntyre’s book Caring for Words in a Culture of Lies. Living in America McEntyre has a comparable vision for the value of creative writing for wellbeing. She often works with people living in extended care facilities for the elderly.
Thanks again for the stimulating workshop in St Andrews. John Topliff
John, thank you for this. Glad you enjoyed the workshop – it was great to meet you and everyone else. I’ll certainly check out the book, and pass on the reference to Lapidus colleagues. I’ve just written a post about my experience of StAnza.
Realised today that I’d left MSTC without thanking you for the last 8 weeks of ‘MS my story’.
It was a wonderful experience, made possible by your guidance. I look forward to the publication of the booklet.
I hope you are well. I wonder if you are mentoring people at the moment? Or planning to in 2021? I’d like to discuss whether mentoring me might be an option, if you think it’s worthwhile and if you have time and a space for me.
Hi Morvern, many thanks for your query. I may be taking on some new mentees in 2021. Do email me at email@example.com for further information.