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Previous Publications


Talking the Town Red - Waterloo Samplers No.6 (2004)

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Haiku published on 9/11 in the Tokyo: The Mainichi Daily News

every day
around the world
9/10, 9/11, 9/12

Helen Buckingham Armadillo Basket (2011)

Helen’s strength is her killer lines and an honest dissection of her life, from haiku poetry, and haiku prose, to tanka and longer poetry: she taps the green light in us. From modern one line haiku: that point of white before christ muscles in to tanka that doesn’t relax into clichéd dreams of love, but our fears of losing

  out on life:
  counting stars
  in lieu of sheep
  not daring to blink
  for fear of missing
  one leap

But Helen has another strength in her humour: you will find the most hilarious story, set in haibun form, that highlights cultural differences, via tales of the most dramatic American legends being confused with British TV series The Prisoner, set in a small Welsh village. The mood changes with her ‘Summer is a Hospital’ which reveals the vulnerability in Helen’s formative years, with killer lines: bikini-line nerves… with some fumbling kid… to check into Summer. Strangely this is her most comfortable place as a writer: letting us know she’s been there too; and made mistakes alongside the best of us: that we’re simply not alone in doing this.

Alan Summers, (Embassy of Japan’s roving
Japan-UK haiku poet-in-residence)


ISBN 978-1-906742-37-9


Helen can do it all.
Saša Važić (Simply Haiku, co-owner and co-editor)

We all have our ‘armour’ but Buckingham has raised her visor to allow us a glimpse into her life. Pain or pleasure — whatever you find in Armadillo Basket —it is all part of Buckingham and the hard outer protects the softer inner. With this collection she is certainly ‘Moving On Up’.
Colin Stewart Jones (Notes from the Gean, Managing Editor)


Helen Buckingham was born in London in 1960 and moved to the west country in the late seventies. In the early eighties she moved to Bristol, about which time she started writing poetry.

Over the following decade she concentrated mainly on ‘western’ forms, such as free and rhyming verse, but it was during the onset of her M.E., in the early 1990s, that she found herself increasingly drawn to Japanese-style short form poetry.

Since the late eighties she has appeared widely in the small presses, been placed in a number of awards, and has recently had several volumes of short form verse published.

This collection combines both western and Japanese-style poetry, comprising work from throughout her writing life to the present day.

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