Helen Charman is a writer, academic and poet based in Glasgow, Scotland. Her book, MOTHER STATE, is a social history of motherhood in the U.K. and Ireland from 1973 to the present day, will be published by Allen Lane (Penguin) in 2022. She finished her AHRC-funded PhD, on maternity and capitalism in nineteenth-century fiction, in 2019, and is a Teaching Fellow in the Department of English Studies at Durham University. She also teaches at Glasgow School of Art and Camberwell College of Arts. She is currently the ECR affiliate in the Glasgow Medical Humanities research network. 


Her poetry pamphlets SUPPORT, SUPPORT (Offord Road Books), DADDY POEM (Spam Press) and WORRY WORK (Earthbound Press) came out in 2018, 2019 and 2020 respectively, and her next, IN THE PLEASURE DAIRY, is forthcoming from Sad Press. She has been shortlisted for the Ivan Juritz Prize for Creative Experiment and the inaugural WHITE REVIEW Poet's Prize. Her writing can be found in THE WHITE REVIEW, the GUARDIAN, POETRY REVIEW, ANOTHER GAZE, the STINGING FLY, the BAFFLER, FRIEZE, and elsewhere. She is currently resident Commissioning Editor at MAP magazine.

'In these poems we find a lyricism that is skilfully elided or entirely exploded by

sharp and defiant language. The self exceeds its limits to get the measure of its

borders: desire, fear and self-reliance remap a woman’s body on her own terms.

Charman’s ‘I’ gathers up these boundaries and faultlines – formal, maternal,

sexual, exuberant, resistant – and leaps unfettered into an imagined elsewhere.’

Sandeep Parmar

'Charman has created a language that’s all her own’

Jenna Clake