"Heather Thomas writes books that flash in your mind. She has a visionary imagination and the technical brilliance to show it forth in startling imagery."

—Anne Kaier, Wild River Review


Vortex Street

FutureCycle Press, 2018

Includes “Slit Silence,” a Rita Dove Poetry Prize, International Literary Awards, honorable mention

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“The title of Heather H. Thomas’s roiling new book of poems, Vortex Street, refers to a continuous stream of vortices, which are swirling, sucking holes of air and water. In this masterful collection, the reader is pitched headfirst into a world that is at once physical and sensual, beginning with the poet’s riverside home and extending across the globe, forcing us to examine our comfortable places within this troubled landscape. Here is an examination of contrasts, of hope in the midst of violence, loss consoled by memory, of the tangled and the smooth, the blending of I, we, and you. It is a place where one is alone yet never alone, a place where letters, postcards, and pleas reach out to an unknown other. With consistent surprise and craft, Thomas engages us in poem after poem of a dark world spun with promise. As she wrestles with the realities of Sarajevo, Aleppo, and more, she acknowledges, “The earth has cracked, shifted, burned,” but we are charged not to despair. As she reminds us in “Bowl of Oranges,” “imagination is a force: occupy.” Here we are challenged to occupy imagination as a force for transforming our most difficult moments. Ultimately, Vortex Street is a search for self and acceptance in a world tossed by trauma and change. All who enter these poems will emerge wiser and more grounded.”

—BARBARA PRESNELL, author of Piece Work and Blue Star


Read more praise for Vortex Street here.


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Blue Ruby

FootHills Publishing, 2008

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“Heather Thomas’s Blue Ruby is a beauty, composed by a fearlessly compassionate intelligence: ‘everything exists because/ something else does.’ Primarily, it’s poems in flexible, driving, sensuous two- and three-line stanzas (also a new kind of urgent pantoum). ‘I write with my eyes.’ But Thomas joins a growing band who can’t help but unite the personal and political. She demonstrates that the ‘pearl-of-great-price’ is anyone, anywhere, self or other one. The poems hurt but have a carved, lit-up surface, red and blue and many other colors.”


"Blue Ruby is an engaging and enigmatic read. Ideal for those who enjoy both poetry and political writing, Heather Thomas’s new book is highly recommended."

—KRISTINA MARIE DARLING, The Pedestal Magazine


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Resurrection Papers

Chax Press, 2003, 2011

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Resurrection Papers is a book of transgression—the transgression of the individual subject by family and social strictures, the transgression through such death into existence, the transgression of language as prescription into language as desire. It is a book ultimately of freedom—of being set free through language.”



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Papeles de Resurrección

Trans. Patricia Díaz Bialet. Buenos Aires: Editorial Vinciguerra, 2004.

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“A work on the spirit and the writing of it, Resurrection Papers is a testimony of spiritual life, a narrative of a metaphysical experience, and a construction of a poetics that makes the poem into a door to the marvelous-real.”

 —GRACIELA MATURO, for Editorial Vinciguerra


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Practicing Amnesia

Singing Horse Press, 2000

Finalist, National Poetry Series

Includes “Custody,” winner of the Temple University Academy of American Poets Prize.

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“Often stunning language. Thomas is able to shift registers between the personal and the public....[She] has skillfully absorbed the language-centered formalism of vanguard poetry, but her poems do not bow under the oppressive weight of abstraction....There’s a swiftness and sensuality at work here that give to this book a nearly tangible glow of plangency mixed with warmth.”

—PATRICK PRITCHETT, Rain Taxi Review of Books

“This is a cultural and family history that practicing amnesia has marked, a distancing technique to survive suffering....How far can we go—to access the facts and emotions of past suffering? The woman who has survived by practicing amnesia will “dig a hole and plant / late bloomers with a history,” but it is a history we “can only invent,” we can only open to through language.”




Circus Freex

Pine Press and Standing Stones Press, 1995

Out of print

“Readers will find many tantalizing questions—and complex answers suggested—in the poetry of H.T. Bits of wit and sage observations which, ultimately, any reader may wish to have said.”





Texture Press, 1993

Includes “Recognition,” winner of a Gertrude Stein Award in Innovative American Poetry, 1994-1995.

Out of print

“An exquisitely sensitive ear for layers of language, folding street talk among references to nature.”