Poetry. From his early spare poems written in Spain to the recent ruminative work exploring language, tradition (often Jewish and diasporic) and the self, this book collects four decades of Michael Heller's "tone perfect poems" as George Oppen described them. Enriched with the detailed landscapes of the phenomenal world and mind, THIS CONSTELLATION IS A NAME confirms Michael Heller's place at the forefront of contemporary American poetry.
Jeffrey Cyphers Wright @ The Brooklyn Rail
Michael Heller's poems first appeared in print in the nineteen-sixties while he was living in a small village on Spain's Andalusian coast, a period he describes in his book, EARTH AND CAVE (Dos Madres Press, 2006). In 1967, he returned to the U.S, taking a teaching position at New York University. Since then, he has published over twenty-five volumes of poetry, essays, memoir and fiction. Among his most recent works are CONSTELLATIONS OF WAKING (2019), DIANOIA (2016), THIS CONSTELLATION IS A NAME: COLLECTED POEMS 1965-2010 (2012), and SPEAKING THE ESTRANGED: ESSAYS ON THE WORK OF GEORGE OPPEN (2012). Since the nineteen-nineties, he has been collaborating with the composer Ellen Fishman Johnson on multimedia works including writing the libretto for the opera, CONSTELLATIONS OF WAKING, which premiered at the Philadelphia Fringe Festival in 2000. Among his many awards are grants and prizes from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Poetry Society of America and The Fund for Poetry. A collection of critical essays on his work, The Poetry and Poetics of Michael Heller: A Nomad Memory was published by Fairleigh Dickinson University Press in 2015. A frequent traveler to Europe, he resides in New York City and spends his summers in the Colorado mountains. He is married to the poet and scholar Jane Augustine.Author City: NEW YORK, NY USA