posted August 30, 2005

Heather Sellers Has Poetry in Anthology

Dr. Heather Sellers of the Hope College faculty has work included in a forthcoming anthology, "Sweeping Beauty: Contemporary Women Poets Do Housework."

The book is being released in September, and is published by the University of Iowa Press. It has been edited by Pamela Gemin, who is an assistant professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh.

The book's more than 80 contributors also include a number of poets who have read at Hope through the college's Visiting Writers Series, including Kim Blaeser, Marianne Boruch, Lucille Clifton, Joy Harjo, Allison Joseph, Jesse Lee Kercheval and Sharon Olds.

The "Morning Edition" program of National Public Radio will feature a segment on the publication on Thursday, Sept. 1. The program will feature an interview by Susan Stamberg with Gemin and contributing poets Allison Joseph and Julia Kasdorf.

"Morning Edition" runs from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m., and several radio stations in Michigan carry the program, including, in Grand Rapids, WGVU-AM (1480); WGVU-FM (88.5); and WGVR-FM (104.1); and, in Ann Arbor, WUOM-FM (91.7). More information about "Morning Edition" and about stations carrying the program can be found on the NPR Web site, www.npr.org.

"Sweeping Beauty" explores the role of women in the home place - and the role of housework in the authors' poetry.

"Thankless, mundane, and 'never done,' housework continues to be seen as women's work, and contemporary women poets are still writing the domestic experience - sometimes resenting its futility and lack of social rewards, sometimes celebrating its sensory delights and immediate gratification, sometimes cherishing the undeniable link it provides to their mothers and grandmothers," the publisher notes on its Web site. "In 'Sweeping Beauty,' a number of these poets illustrate how housekeeping's repetitive motions can free the imagination and release the housekeeper's muse."

"For many, housekeeping provides the key to a state of mind approaching meditation, a state of mind also conducive to making poems," the publisher continues. "The more than 80 contributors to 'Sweeping Beauty' embrace this state and confirm that women are pioneers and inventors as well as life-givers and nurturers."

Sellers has been a member of the Hope faculty since 1995, and is an associate professor of English. In addition to teaching, she serves as advisor to the student-published "Opus" literary magazine and as co-coordinator of the college's Visiting Writers Series.

Nearly 50 of her poems have appeared in journals, anthologies and magazines, including "Louisiana Literature," "Ascent," "The New Virginia Review," "Gulf Coast," "Hawai'i Review," "Barrow Street," "The MidWest Quarterly" and "So To Speak."

Her short fiction, memoir and creative nonfiction appear in journals, anthologies and magazines, including Shannon Ravenel's "The Best Stories of the New South." Her short story "Hunting" from "The Chattahoochee Review" was listed in the "100 Distinguished Stories of 1991" section of the "Best American Short Stories." Recent prose has appeared in "The Sun," "The Madison Review," "The Southeast Review," "The Writer," "Writer's Digest," "Beloit Fiction Journal" and "Five Points," and is forthcoming in "The Massachusetts Review." Her work appears alongside that of Sandra Cisneros, Antonya Nelson, Peter Ho Davies and Pam Houston in the new anthology "Falling Backwards: stories of fathers and daughters."

She was one of only 41 writers nationally to receive a National Endowment for the Arts grant for 2000-02 to create original work or translate work. The collection of stories that she completed through the grant, "Georgia Under Water," was named a finalist in the 2002 "Paterson Fiction Prize" competition and in 2001 was recognized in the "Discover Great New Writers" program of Barnes & Noble bookstores.

Her publications also include "Page After Page: how to start writing and keep writing no matter what!," a book that offers guidance for those interested in becoming writers; "Your Whole Life," a chapbook of poetry; "Drinking Girls and Their Dresses," a book of poetry that was chosen by Brenda Hillman as part of the Sawtooth Prize; and "Spike and Cubby's Ice Cream Island Adventure," a children's book written with Amy Young. Sellers also recently finished a draft of a textbook, "The Passionate Beginner"; is working on a memoir, tentatively titled "Face First"; and is writing a sequel to "Page by Page," titled "Chapter after Chapter."