Cecil Helman was born in 1944 in Cape Town, South Africa. After qualifying as a doctor, he moved to London, where he studied social anthropology. In 1983/84 he was a Visiting Fellow at Harvard Medical School. His books include The Body of Frankenstein’s Monster: Essays in Myth and Medicine (WW Norton, 1991), a textbook Culture, Health and Illness (Arnold, 2001), a memoir Suburban Shaman: A Journey Through Medicine (Double Storey, South Africa, 2004), a novella, and two collections of prose poetry. His prose poems have appeared in ten anthologies, including Michael Benedikt’s The Prose Poem: An International Anthology (Dell, 1978), Howard Schwartz’s Imperial Messages: One Hundred Modern Parables (Avon, 1978), and Peter Johnson’s The Best of the Prose Poem: An International Journal (White Pine Press, 2000). They have also been published in many literary journals in South Africa, Great Britain, Europe and the United States, including The London Magazine, Ambit, Tikkun, Magazine.Art, Sentence, The New Renaissance, California Quarterly, Paris Voices, Carapace, and Contrast. Quale Press has published two of his collections of prose poems: The Other Half of the Dream and Irregular Numbers of Beasts and Birds. His work has been translated into eight languages. He was recently given the highest international award of the American Anthropological Association’s Society for Medical Anthropology, its Career Achievement Award. His book, Suburban Shaman, received the 2007 Medical Journalists Association Book Award. He died in June 2009.

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