Helen Daniels, American Poet (1958-2006)


Gravestone of Helen Daniels
Gravestone of Helen Daniels, Rock Creek Cemetery, Washington DC
Helen Daniels died in Catonsville, Maryland, on Friday, November 17, 2006, on the eve of the second anniversary of the death of her sister Sue.

I knew Helen and Sue Daniels on NYC’s Lower East Side when Helen was in the Brooklyn College Master of Fine Arts Program in Poetry, where she studied with John Ashbery. According to her obituaries, Helen also studied in the PhD program at CUNY Graduate Center and taught English at Hunter College and at the Community College of Baltimore County. When she died, Helen was a candidate for the clergy at the Metropolitan Community Church in Baltimore after studying at the Wesley Theological Seminary in DC.

I learned of Helen’s and Sue’s deaths only yesterday. The sense of loss is wrenching, even after the decades since we parted. I remember their razor-sharp intelligence and ever-ready sense of the absurd, and the warmth and generosity they brought to my life, which was very hardscrabble at the time.

Gravestone of Susan Jean Daniels
Gravestone of Susan Jean Daniels, Rock Creek Cemetery, Washington DC
Helen and Sue were good friends to me. All I can do now is attempt to honor their memory. You can find traces of Sue’s life, and her life’s work for nature and humanity, with a Google search, but a record of Helen’s literary work is lacking.

I write in the hope that readers can help me find Helen Daniels’ published poetry and prose, so the world can know her legacy.