Helen Sheppard

Photo by Sam Cavender @samsnapsalot

Helen Sheppard is a Member of the Sword Forge Collective 2022 – 2023.


Helen Sheppard is a Bristol-based writer, a twin and has worked as a midwife. Her poetry explores themes of birth, life, family, friendship, health and loss, and those whose voices are often unheard. She started to write in her forties during a ‘kick start your reading’ class. Helen co-runs Satellite of Love Word events and loves the alchemy of being involved in community events with Bristol Literature Festival, Lyra Poetry Festival and she enjoys mentoring new poets.  Helen has performed at Milk Poetry, Berkeley Square Review, Mind Matters, That’s What She Said, RTB Spotlight,Torriano Meeting House, Harvard Medical School, Nuyorican Poetry Cafe, Parkside Lounge, Poetry + Health, schools parks and gardens.


  • Debut collection ‘Fontanelle’ published by Burning Eye Books [ get it here ].
  • Co-Organiser of Satellite of Love.
  • Organiser and host of Health Beat Poets podcast [ listen here ].
  • Published in Hecate Press Birth Anthology 2021 Ink Sweat & Tears 2021 These are the Hands, 2020 FairAcres Press Under the Radar, Nine Arches Press Literati Magazine COVID-19 Poems in the Lockdown, 2020 Lyrically Justified Volume 3, 2019 Tools of the Trade – Poems for New Doctors, 2019 Our Beating Heart NHS70, 2018 Voices Along the Road, 2018 Wild Women Press, 2018 Ink Sweat & Tears, 2021, 2018 Hippocrates Poetry & Medicine anthology 2017, I am Not a Silent Poet, Blue of Noon Commended in Hippocrates Poetry and Medicine Prize 2017 for poem ‘Opening’.
  • Performances include Our Beating Heart NHS70 Launch. Milk Poetry, Warm Milk, Strong Bones, Tonic, Spotlight Raise The Bar Torriano Meeting House Harvard Medical School, Boston Nuyorican Poetry Cafe, and Parkside Lounge NYC.
  • Bristol Literature Festival, Children’s event ‘Bring your own Language’, 2016.
  • Sufi Poetry Bristol Festival of Literature 2018.
  • Interviewed by Keep Art It [ watch it here ].
  • Featured on BBC Radio Bristol via BBC Upload.
  • Longlisted for Best Collaborative Work (for their participation in The CandleLit Sessions) in theĀ Saboteur Awards 2022.



Helen Sheppard is a gem of the Bristol poetry scene. Her poetry is giving, rich and powerful. Helen excels most when diving into her lived experience – producing beautifully honed observations on life, family, friendship, health and loss. She approaches poetry with humour and pathos, her work feels tender without a hint of artificiality. Helen’s work makes you love her as a writer, and fall back in love with the power of writing.


Helen Sheppard creates poems that deliver a smile, a gasp and arrive with an embrace. Helen’s poems are warm, celebratory and allow us to share the intimate moments that exist between a midwife and a mother without ever being voyeuristic. There is an exploration of relationships that take place in Helen’s poems – relationships with ourselves, others and those yet to be born. These poems celebrate everything that happens from the first breath we take.

stephen lightbrown


Twitter: https://twitter.com/HelenSheppard7
Website: https://helensheppard.bigcartel.com/contact