Helen McKinlay was born in Wellington and later trained as a registered nurse at Auckland Hospital and a midwife at St Helen’s in Wellington. She attended both the University of Auckland and Victoria University, where she studied arts, and later did a Grad Dip Business (mediation) at Massey.
Helen has worked as a nurse/midwife in city and rural hospitals overseas and in Golden Bay, where she settled with her family in the 1980s. She was a founding member of Golden Bay Writers and Live Poets groups. This led to publication as a poet and children’s author. She has since had the pleasure of sharing her stories and poetry in a number of schools and live poet venues. While based in Christchurch she set up Poetry for Pudding, a live poets group for all ages and stages, and is now a weekly contributor to The Tuesday Poem, an international poetry blog based in New Zealand.
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