Biography

Helen Marie Casey is a poet and essayist who lives in Sudbury, Massachusetts. Her essays appear in newspapers, magazines, and journals and include the study, Portland’s Compromise: The Colored School 1867-1872.

Helen was a Finalist for the 2013 Loft Poetry Prize and she won First Prize in the 2014 Frank O'Hara Poetry Contest of the Worcester County Poetry Association. She also won the 2012 Anita McAndrews Award Poetry Contest of Artists in Action International and the 2012 Barbara Bradley Award from the New England Poetry Society. Her poem “Sprung Rhythm” was chosen by judge Thomas Lynch as the winning poem of the 14th National Poet Hunt and, with other poems of hers, appears in the Winter 2010 issue of The MacGuffin.

Her series of poems about Mary Dyer, Inconsiderate Madness, won the Black River Chapbook competition and was published by Black Lawrence Press in 2007. The book was named a finalist for the 2008 Julia Ward Howe Award by the Boston Authors Club and a Highly Recommended Book by Massbooks of the Year/ Poetry in the 8th Annual Massachusetts Book Awards. Seven of the poems from the series became the basis for the song cycle, “Mary Dyer, Martyr,” by composer Lynn Petersen. The work, sung by mezzo-soprano Kimberly Gratland James, accompanied by the composer, has been presented twice in Montana.

Helen’s first chapbook, Fragrance Upon His Lips, a narrative sequence about Joan of Arc, was published by Finishing Line Press in 2005.

Her work has appeared in several journals, including Tiferet, Connecticut Review, Louisiana Literature, The Worcester Review, Rosebud, The South Carolina Review, Calyx, Runes, America, and the anthologies, Regrets Only; Mischief, Caprice, and Other Poetic Strategies; Breath of Parted Lips, Vol II; The Why and Later; and Ad Hoc Monadnock. Among other publications, her book reviews appear in Prairie Schooner and The South Carolina Review.

Helen was a finalist for the 2012 CREAM CITY REVIEW's Beau Boudreaux prize and a semifinalist in the 2006 The Southeast Review poetry competition, an Honorable Mention in the Worcester County Poetry Association 2006 and 2007 poetry contests, a finalist for The Iowa Award in Poetry 2004, the New Discovery Poetry Award for 2004, and a semi-finalist for the 2004 Louisiana Literature Prize for Poetry. She was also a semifinalist in the 2001 "Discovery"/ The Nation competition. She won the 2001 Boyle/ Farber Award from the New England Poetry Club.

Helen's newest book is a biography of the artist Florence Armes Hosmer (1880-1978) titled: MY DEAR GIRL: THE ART OF FLORENCE HOSMER. It is available from blacklawrence.com, Amazon, and at the Concord Bookshop.

Helen Marie Casey is a long-time member of the League of Women Voters and has served on the board of The Learning Center for Deaf Children as well as her town's Finance Committee.

AWARDS: Helen's poem, "The Loneliness of the Heart Is Forever", has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

History
The author visits post-Civil War racial history in the school system in Portland, Oregon.
Poetry
Casey’s poems are compelling. Throughout, Casey’s lyrical voice resonates.
--Vivian Shipley
Deft. Real, honest, terse, sinewy, searing, passionate poems of emotional and sensual immediacy
--Brian Doyle