Dappled with transparent imagery, like the Mediterranean sunlight she grew up with, Hélène Cardona’s poems offer a vivid self-portrait as scholar, seer and muse. 

John Ashberywinner of the Pulitzer Prize, National Book Award, Griffin International Poetry Prize, MacArthur “Genius” Grant, and a National Humanities Medal

HeleneCardonaGS Photo by Marta Vassilakis5
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The ultimate aim is reverence for the universe.
The ultimate aim is love for life.
The ultimate aim is harmony within oneself.

—Hélène Cardona

Expressing yourself with art… whatever your experiences have been, you put them to use. There is a transformative process, a healing process, and by creating a piece of art, you heal yourself, and then you heal others in the process because they recognize themselves in the stories you tell. And that’s the beauty of it. That’s why we go to the theater, because it’s such a transcendental and therapeutic experience. That’s why we go see movies, that’s why we love art in general…. The symbols are there. And we respond to symbol and myth. This is the way we tell stories, this is the way we move forward in life.

—Hélène Cardona

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We packed
whole lives into bundles in search
of what chooses us, what wants to come
back to the surface, what needs to be said.
We had so many dreams
we didn’t know what to make of them.

—Hélène Cardona

Hélène Cardona in "Mumford" still by Gemma Lamana
Hélène Cardona in "Mumford" still by Gemma Lamana
Hélène Cardona in "Chocolat" still by David Appleby
Hélène Cardona in "Chocolat" still by David Appleby
Hélène Cardona in "Stealing Roses" still by Antonio Lozano
Hélène Cardona in "Stealing Roses" still by Antonio Lozano
Photo by Marta Vassilakis
Photo by Marta Vassilakis