posted December 2, 2008

Heather Sellers Has Work in Poetry Anthology

Heather Sellers of the Hope College English faculty is among the poets featured in "When She Named Fire: An Anthology of Contemporary Poetry by American Women."

The anthology features 461 poems by 96 poets, and includes photographs and biographical notes.  The collection was edited by Andrea Hollander Budy and has been published by Autumn House Press of Pittsburgh, Pa.

The poems by Sellers include "Dating Men With Children," "SAT Words with David Junior" and "Palm Sunday in Pew with Ex."  The poems are collected in her most recent book, "The Boys I Borrow."

A total of 15 of the other poets with work included in the anthology have previously been featured at Hope through the college's Jack Ridl Visiting Writers Series.  Those who have participated in the series through the years are:  Kim Addonizio, Marianne Boruch, Judith Ortiz Cofer, Toi Derricotte, Lynn Emanuel, Beth Ann Fennelly, Barbara Hamby, Allison Joseph, Jane Kenyon, Maxine Kumin, Naomi Shihab Nye, Sharon Olds, Mary Ruefle, Chase Twichell and Ellen Bryant Voigt.

Sellers has been a member of the Hope faculty since 1995. A professor of English, she teaches poetry, fiction and nonfiction workshops, as well as a course designed for teachers who want to write.

She is the author of three volumes of poetry: "The Boys I Borrow," "Drinking Girls and Their Dresses" and the chapbook "Your Whole Life."  Her fiction includes "Georgia Under Water," a collection of short fiction; and, with Amy Young as illustrator, the children's book "Spike and Cubby: Ice Cream Island Adventure!"  Her books also include two guides for writers:  "Page after Page: Discover the confidence and passion you need to start writing and keep writing (no matter what)," and "Chapter after Chapter: Discover the Dedication and Focus You Need to Write the Book of Your Dreams."  She also has a textbook for the introductory creative writing classroom forthcoming, and is working on her memoir, "Face First," about her experience with prosopagnosia, or, face blindness.

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

Her short fiction, memoir and creative nonfiction appear in journals, other anthologies and magazines, including "The Best Stories of the New South" and "Falling Backwards: stories of fathers and daughters."  Excerpts from "Face First" appear in "The Best Creative Nonfiction" (W.W. Norton & Co. Inc.), and the work is one of 100 notable essays included in "Best American Essays."

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," "Five Points" and "The Massachusetts Review."

Sellers 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, through which she completed "Georgia Under Water."  "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.

She holds her bachelor's, master's, and doctorate from Florida State University.