Helena Mara Sanderson currently lives in Cumbria.
In 2015 she gained a first-class honours degree in Humanities with Creative Writing and Art History from the Open University, and graduated at Ely Cathedral in June 2016.
She is now undertaking a two-year Masters degree in History, again with the Open University. Her academic interests include a comparison of the effects of the Industrial Revolution on the Rossendale valley.
Her poetry has been placed with Pushing Out the Boat, The Stare’s Nest, StAnza Poetry Map of Scotland, Word Bohemia and Ink Pantry Publishing.
She is a member of Kendal’s Brewery Poets and runs an online poetry group, The Poetry Den, where she provides prompts, followed by the intense workshopping of one or two poems per member.
Helena’s work spans many disciplines. A major interest is the lives of textile workers in nineteenth-century Lancashire, reflected in her cross-genre project, Spinning Jenny. Whilst studying Herbal Medicine under the tutelage of Dr Midge Whitelegg, she developed an enthusiasm for Goethian science and uses this intimate, direct means of relating to the natural world in her poetry. She is also keen to explore the pre-industrial heritage of her Cornish cordwainer ancestors.
Her influences include Autumn Richardson, John Clare, Kathleen Jamie, Richard Long, Annie Lee, Derek Tangye, Pauline Burbidge, Ken Cockburn, Daphne du Maurier, Alec Finlay, Virginia Woolf, Grayson Perry and Barbara Hepworth.