Book Jody Helfand For Your Next Speech

Book Jody Rose Helfand
For your


My newest book:
Transforming Yourself
, is a 15 step blueprint for rapid and lasting change.

Throughout the years, I've published over 75 poems, stories, and articles in various magazines, journals, and anthologies.  

My work has appeared in the following publications: The Avatar Review, The Pedestal Magazine, Visions International, Illuminations, The Rio Grande Review, The DMQ Review, The Georgetown Review, Four AM Poetry Review, Soft Skull Press Presents: Bend, Don't Shatter, Soul Fountain, The Country Mouse, Fireweed, Ghoti, Bamboo Ridge, Edgz, Prose Ax, Gertrude, Memorious, Trans People In Love: An Anthology of Stories by Haworth Press, Public Voices, Tinfish, The Chaffin Journal, and more.


In the MFA program I graduated from, I wrote a book about my gender change called Places Male and Female.

Here is a review from the back cover:
"The poems in Jody Helfand's collection are brave and transforming on multiple levels. The tension from an inexplicable need in childhood and adolescence, finally released through the affirmation of a transgender change is exquisitely rendered. Places Male and Female is a bold and brave self-exploration into the realms of suffering caused by an overwhelming desire to be natural, to be open to one's true sexual self in the face of a world full of curiosity and prejudice toward what is different."

--Juliet S. Kono,

author of
Hilo Rains, Tsunami Years, and Anshu: Dark Sorrow

The second edition of Places Male and Female is currently being printed. 
You can buy the Ebook version now.  Click on the Buy Now button above. 

Here are some sample poems from
Places Male and Female

The Nature of Insects

Snared by elementary rules,
friends accepted their interests,
hopscotch, tea parties, dress up--
when I wanted to be Captain America.
I studied my ant farm, lost in the calm
of their design.  I followed them
through tunnels of exact purpose
and sensed a feeling of bodies
working together to form an industry.
I understood these wingless insects
in their socialized condition.
At night, I told Mr. Lion which girls I liked--
Grrrirls don't marry Girls,
he whispered, as I slept with lips
pressed against a groove in my knuckle,
telling myself Mr. Lion was wrong,
as my ants continued to build their colonies.

How a Body Survives

When I was a lesbian the women I’d date
were careful not to touch me in places female.
I’d tell them I was male,
that I was waiting to change 
like female crabs wait
to release their eggs to the sea at midnight
and that I could die in the process—
foam at the mouth
while others ate my leftovers.
It would be a scene,
like thousands of tiny claws trying to reach water
scaling each other to stay alive.
I’d sit on the bed and stare at their questions like
I was looking at the ocean and couldn’t see anything
except the immeasurable blue—
the uncertainty of the tide.

A Decision

I realized my spirit
would be cut into pieces and scattered
in the furthest corners.

Finding the pieces was completely up to me,
but a penis would never be found,
because one never existed in the first place.

Like Osiris, one would be made,
but not carved from wood; instead grown by my body,
stuck, before the idea emerged
to deconstruct then reconstruct. 

These concepts applied to the body,
but not my body anymore.
A new body, but first the female body, torn down.

Not just a remodeling, but a completely new location,
the old rules thrown away,
the new rules not yet thought about.    

This wasn't gender identity disorder,
I didn't have some kind of sickness.
It was a simple idea.  

I had to destroy myself before finding myself.
It was the anguish of being in a place
where all I could see was female. 

Here's some of my poetry that can be found online:
Poetry in Memorious Magazine
Live Poetry on Aloha Shorts.  My poem: At The Gynecologist's Office from Places Male and Female, read by Norman Munoz.

Bend, Don't Shatter, by Soft Skull Press: One of my favorite anthologies that my poetry appears in.  The poems by these authors are moving and powerful. The poems I published in this anthology are from my book Places Male and Female.