Biography

Heather H. Thomas is a poet, writer, professor, and workshop teacher who has won awards for her writing and teaching.

 Portraits by  Alexandra Whitney

Portraits by Alexandra Whitney

She is the author of seven poetry collections: Vortex Street (FutureCycle Press), Blue Ruby (FootHills Publishing), Resurrection Papers (Chax Press), Practicing Amnesia (Singing Horse Press), and three chapbooks, including a poetry-art collaboration.  

Thomas’s poems “continually depict artistic expression as a source of renewal,” wrote The Pedestal Magazine. They are “composed by a fearlessly compassionate intelligence,” according to poet Alice Notley. Wild River Review says Heather has a “has a visionary imagination and the technical brilliance to show it forth in startling imagery.” Her work is “ultimately of freedom—of being set free through language.”

Honored with a Rita Dove Poetry Prize, two Gertrude Stein Awards in Innovative American Poetry, and the Temple University Academy of American Poets Prize, Thomas’s poems are widely published in print and online literary journals and anthologies. Her work is translated into Arabic, Albanian, Hebrew, Italian, Lithuanian, Spanish, and Swedish. She has read nationally and internationally in Argentina, Bosnia, Egypt, Ireland, Israel, Kosovo, Lithuania, Russia, and other countries.

A Professor Emerita of English, Kutztown University, Thomas teaches creative writing at Cedar Crest College and in workshops. She earned her doctorate and master’s degree from Temple University, holds an undergraduate honors degree in English from the University of Pennsylvania, and attended Vassar College. A former journalist, Heather was born in New York and lives in Reading, Pennsylvania.
 

Education

Ph.D., English, Temple University
M.A., Creative Writing, Temple University
B.A. cum laude, English, University of Pennsylvania
Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY


Selected Awards & Honors

International Literary Awards, Rita Dove Prize in Poetry, Honorable Mention
Virginia Center for the Creative Arts Fellow. Writing Residency
Inspirational Faculty Award, Kutztown University Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculty
Berks County Poet Laureate. Selected by Reading (PA) Area Community College
Gertrude Stein Awards in Innovative American Poetry
National Poetry Series. Finalist twice for Practicing Amnesia
Literature Fellowship, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts
Academy of American Poets Prize, Temple University


Books

Vortex Street, FutureCycle Press, 2018
Blue Ruby, FootHills Publishing, 2008
Papeles de Resurrección (Patricia Díaz Bialet, translator), Editorial Vinciguerra, 2004
Resurrection Papers, Chax Press, 2003
Practicing Amnesia, Singing Horse Press, 2000 (National Poetry Series Finalist)
The Fray (collaboration with Barbara Schulman), Kutztown Publishing, 2000
Circus Freex. Pine Press and Standing Stones Press, 1995
Voiceunders. Texture Press, 1993  


Recent Publications

“Home,” WSQ/Women’s Studies Quarterly
“Double Helix,” Barrow Street
“Counterspirit,” collaboration with Nagat Ali. Mizna: Prose, Poetry, and Art Exploring Arab America
“Marathon,” Fledgling Rag, Iris G. Press, and Excavating Honesty: An Anthology of Rage and Hope in America. Paper Nautilus Press
“Unhinged,” Birdsong: Poems in Celebration of Birds. FootHills Publishing
“The Sea Itself” and other poems. Minerva Online. Italian translations by Zingonia Zingone
“Ribcage” and other poems. Hesham Alsabahi’s Poetry Book Blog. Arabic translations by Fatima Tahir
“Vapor.” The Pedestal Magazine
“Blue Ruby 3,” Canadian Woman Studies
“Wallace Stevens House Prayer,” So Far…So Close: Contemporary Writers of Tarapacá and Pennsylvania. Universidad Arturo Prat
“Letter My Father Never Sent Me” and “Letter My Grandmother Never Sent Me.” Poems for the Writing: Prompts for Poets. Texture Press


Read A SELECTION OF Published Poems