Pic: Stefano Masse

Helena Mulkerns worked as a freelance journalist In Paris and New York before spending nearly a decade working as a Press Officer for UN Peacekeeping in Central America, Africa and Afghanistan. She has written for Hot Press, The Irish Times, Irish Tatler in Ireland, and The Irish Echo, Rolling Stone, Cinéaste, Entertainment Weekly, Elle, the New York Times in the U.S. among others.

In 2016, her first book, FERENJI was published by Doire Press. A collection of themed short fiction set in Africa and Afghanistan, the story Dogs was shortlisted for the 2017 Bórd Gais Irish Book Awards. She has also been shortlisted for the Hennessy New Irish Writing Awards, America’s Pushcart Prize and Ireland’s Francis MacManus Short Story Award. She received a bursary from the Arts Council of Ireland to work on FERENJI  and she is currently working on a novel.

Since returning to Ireland, she has freelanced in writing, publishing and the Arts. In 2016, she founded the indie publishing collective, 451 Editions, a separate project developed over five years. In its first year 451 Editions published the e-Edition of WexFour featuring John Banville, Colm Tóíbín, Billy Roche and Eoin Colfer, as well as Memory and Desire, the collected short stories of Val Mulkerns.  Last year, it brought out the 25th Anniversary edition of The Light Makers by Mary O’Donnell and Friends With the Enemy, a memoir by Val Mulkerns. Summmer 2018 sees new editions of Martin Malone‘s hard-hitting post-conflict novel, After Kafra and Ferdia MacAnna’s excellent crime-comedy caper, Cartoon City

Since 2009, Helena has been at the helm of an evening of the Arts, The Cáca Milis Cabaret, which  is a regular event at The Wexford Arts Centre and also received funding from the Irish Arts Council. The cabaret has collaborated with the Coracle ProjectStinging FlyMindField at Electric Picnic and ran for two years in Dublin at Arthur’s. The anthology Red Lamp Black Piano, with an intro by Patrick McCabe, features artistes who performed at Cáca Milis. Helena sings with Dublin musician Josh Johnston on piano; the duo’s next performance will be on 10 January 2018 at the Dublin Bowie Festival‘s Bowie Raw.

2018 is a year of transition with a permanent relocation to Dublin as well as a key change a little into minor as Helena re-groups and works on a short story collection and her novel.

You can order FERENJI from any Irish book shop and they’ll have it for you in a day or two, or click here for more options.  

Helena and Irish poet Michael J. Whelan will be reading live at the Bray Literature Festival in September – for more info see the blog page. 

You can contact Helena here