Biography

Helen Cruickshank (1886 - 1975) : born in 1886, near Montrose, where she went to school. Summer holidays were spent in Angus, and the landscapes and people of the region and its glens appear in her poetry. After leaving school, she entered the Civil Service, working first in London, and then, from 1912, in Edinburgh where she spent most her life. She joined the women’s social and political union, and campaigned for the suffragette cause. She was also a Scottish nationalist, member of the Saltire Society, and co-founder of Scottish Pen. Helen Cruickshank devoted much of her life to other people, helping and supporting them in various ways. Not only did she care for her elderly mother, she also encouraged the work of Lewis Grassic Gibbon, Hugh MacDiarmid and other writers, and appreciated the work of Violet Jacob and marion Angus. She wrote in English and Scots and published several volumes of poetry between the 1930s and 70s. she died in 1975, but the significance of Cruikshank’s generous contribution to Scottish cultural life still awaits full estimation.