A former English teacher, Helen Losse was born in Joplin, MO and educated at Missouri Southern State University (BSE, 1969), where she majored in secondary education and English and Wake Forest University (MALS, 2000), where she studied African American history and religion and creative writing. Her master’s thesis, Making All things New: The Redemptive Value of Unmerited Suffering In the Life and Works of Martin Luther King Jr., is available in the Z. Smith Reynolds Library at Wake Forest University. She wrote four entries in the Encyclopedia of North Carolina.
She is the author of four books of poetry, Evey Tender Reed, Facing a Lonely West, Seriously Dangerous, and Better With Friends, as well as three chapbooks. Her poems have been anthologized in Literary Trails of the North Carolina Piedmont, The Southern Poetry Anthology, Volume VII: North Carolina, and Kakalak 2014, nominated twice for a Pushcart Prize, and three times for a Best of the Net award, one of which was a finalist. She was featured by Kathryn Stripling Byer, Poet Laureate of NC, on the North Carolina Arts Council web site along with two other Winston-Salem poets. Helen’s poem “Four Snapshots of the Sea-Going Boats,” won 1st place in the 2009 Davidson County Writers’ Guild Adult Writing Contest. The former Poetry Editor for The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, she is now an Associate Poetry Editor for Kentucky Review.
Helen lives with her husband Bill in Winston-Salem, NC, where she occasionally writes book reviews for various literary magazines. She is a rail fan, a NASCAR fan, a Tony Stewart fan, a Kyle Busch fan, a Ryan Newman fan, a Kurt Busch, a Carl Edwards fan, a fan of the flip, a Dallas Cowboys fan, a Wake Forest Demon Deacons fan, and a fan of the Carolina Tar Heels. Helen is a Roman Catholic who loves Christmas. She and her husband have two grown sons.
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Praise for Every Tender Reed
“If books of poetry were considered fitting contributions, Helen Losse’s Every Tender Reed, would be among the most heartfelt gifts in a church offering plate. With a keen eye for craft, Losse takes readers on a personal pilgrimage—pondering everything from the beauty of God’s creations to what it might feel like to “be consumed” in pursuit of spiritual purity. Written with fierce tenderness and the courage it takes to write poems both honest and true, this fine collection is a must read. “—Terri Kirby Erickson, author of A Lake of Light and Clouds
“Helen Losse’s Every Tender Reed resonates with a tone of loving memory and forgiveness—a promise for the good life, the verses raising blinds on the dark to brighten songs born to all the world’s beauty. Grace becomes a natural outgrowth of Imagination’s repose. Red clover soft-lights the people; all of us are the ever-present tender reeds.”—Shelby Stephenson, North Carolina Poet Laureate
“Losse’s Every Tender Reed is penance in poetry—honoring the reader as much as the Creator. This volume, for the most part, is a serene journey with the author as she walks the Path toward the enlightenment of self-knowledge.”—Patricia Gomes, Poet Laureate, City of New Bedford, MA
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