Friends, family, fellow writers and readers gathered in York to remember Helen Cadbury – and welcome her final book into the world.

Helen, who died in July aged 52, was best known as a crime novelist. But when she was told she had terminal cancer, it was her first love – poetry – to which she returned.

Her final collection, Forever, Now, has been published by Valley Press.

And it was launced at an event at York Explore on Tuesday night (December 5).

Fun, insightful, wonderful

Helen’s friend and fellow poet Carole Bromley introduced the evening and was one of a number of people to read her work.”Her poetry was wonderful from the word go, and it just got better and better,” Carole said.

“Some of her later poems, written in the last months of her life, are very powerful indeed.

“The thought of her poetry being hidden away on her hard drive after her death was something that made Helen very sad.

“She would be absolutely thrilled to see it published now, especially as she was able to have so much input in the last few weeks of her life, with the cover image, the title, even the music she wanted at the launch event.

“This collection is everything Helen was: fun and insightful, caring and observant, and just plain wonderful.”


Forever, Now is published by Valley Press price £9.99
You can buy it here

Extraordinary lives

Carole Bromley remembers Helen at the launch event. Photograph: York Libraries on Twitter

Helen had already published three successful novels, won the Northern Crime Award for her debut To Catch a Rabbit, was an Amazon Rising Star and had her work optioned for TV by Red Planet Pictures, produces of Death in Paradise.

But she had always loved poetry and, as an adult, took a creative writing course run by Carole, who became a mentor as well as a friend.

Forever, Now charts the extraordinary lives of ordinary people, including the poet herself, those she lived among, worked with, observed on buses and trains or discovered in the archives.

Sometimes her poems spiral into fiction, sometimes they remain autobiographical, as they tell moving and universal stories of love and loss, grief and new beginnings.

Helen, a former professional actor, teacher and youth arts trainer, was born in the Midlands but moved to York 15 years ago, where she lived with her husband Josh Parker, a garden manager, and their sons Isaac and Reuben.