Madison Helbig

Poetry | University of Akron | Class of 2024

 Against Nostalgia explores the ways in which we run from the past and how it always ends up finding us anyway. This poetry collection explores grief, growth, and all of the sticky things that happen in between, like ice cream cones with your best friend and birthday cake that tastes like plastic. Through it all, we’re guided by our speaker, who is triumphant and terrified, who knows everything and nothing at all and thrives within this liminal space.


About Madison

Madison Helbig (she/her) is a poet from Akron, Ohio. When she’s not writing, you’ll find Madison teaching, singing karaoke poorly (yet enthusiastically), or being bullied by her cat, Charlotte. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Dream Pop Press, Flossy Lit Mag, and Prometheus Dreaming.

What’s on your nightstand right now?

The World Keeps Ending, and the World Goes On by Franny Choi, They Can’t Kill Us Until They Kill Us by Hanif Abdurraqib, a box of tomato basil Wheat Thins, and a box of Kleenex. All are important in their own right.

Do you have any eccentric habits/strategies to get you started writing? What are they?

This isn’t really a habit, but I do my best writing between the hours of 10 pm and 3 am. I find when my brain is in this weird, vulnerable place I write some of my best poems. The quiet of most of the world being asleep also feels very comforting and sentimental in a way, and these are ample poetry writing conditions.  

What are your favorite words? Why?

Ethereal is definitely up there. I love words that look and sound exactly like what they mean. I also love tchotchke for this same reason and because I’m a big fan of The Nanny.