The English department’s Ryan Writers Series presents a poetry reading by Michael Heller, a published poet with more than 20 volumes of poetry, essays, memoir and fiction. Heller appears on Tuesday, March 19, at 7:30 p.m. in Room 130 of the McDonald Library for a reading that is free and open to the public.
The afternoon of the reading, Heller also will visit with English Professor and poet Norman Finkelstein’s senior seminar class, which he is opening to anyone interested in attending. Also, Heller, Finkelstein and local poet and editor/publisher Robert Murphy are doing a reading together at Joseph-Beth Booksellers at 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 17.
Heller was born in Brooklyn, raised in Miami Beach and educated as an engineer at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He is considered a leading expert on Jewish Objectivist poetry and wrote a critical book on the Objectivist poets that won the Di Castagnola Prize from the Poetry Society of America. Among his most recent works are: This Constellation Is A Name: Collected Poems 1965-2010; Eschaton (2009); the mixed genre work, Beckmann Variations & other poems (2010); and Speaking the Estranged: Essays on the Work of George Oppen (2008, 2012).
He has collaborated with the composer Ellen Fishman Johnson on multimedia works, including the opera, Constellations of Waking (2000), based on the life of writer Walter Benjamin, and the multimedia works, This Art Burning (2008) and Out of Pure Sound (20I0). His poetry and criticism have appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies including The Paris Review, Conjunctions, Harpers, New Letters, The Nation, American Poetry Review, Jewish American Poetry, Pequod, The New York Times Book Review, Parnassus: Poetry in Review and many others. In addition to the Poetry Society of America award, he has won many other grants and prizes including from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Heller has given many poetry readings in America and Europe at such places as Yale, CUNY, SUNY Purchase and Buffalo, Temple, Rensselaer, NYU and the University of Wyoming, the Sorbonne, Cambridge, Warwick and Durham Universities. For many years, he was on the faculty of New York University and has taught at The Naropa University, The New School, San Francisco State, Notre Dame and other universities.