Hettich, Michael 1953-

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Hettich, Michael 1953-


Born September 25, 1953, in Brooklyn, NY; son of Arthur (an editor) and Mary Elizabeth (a writer) Hettich; married Colleen Ahern, August 2, 1980; children: Matthew, Caitlin. Ethnicity: "Caucasian." Education: Hobart College, B.A. (with high honors), 1975; University of Denver, M.A., 1979; University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL, Ph.D. (with distinction), 1991. Politics: Democrat. Hobbies and other interests: Music, walking, biking, kayaking.


Home—Miami Shores, FL. Office—Department of English, Wolfson Campus, Miami Dade College, 300 N.E. 2nd Ave., Miami, FL 33132. E-mail—[email protected].


Miami Dade College, Wolfson Campus, Miami, FL, professor of English, 1990—, Mac Smith Endowed Chair Environmental Ethics, 1996-99. South Bank Writers Studio, codirector; Seaside Writers Conference, faculty member, 1996; faculty for the Mendocino Writers Conference and the Sanibel Island Writers Conference; gives readings from his works.


Florida individual artist fellowship in poetry, 1999-2000, 2004-05; Tales Prize, 2005, for Swimmer Dreams; Chapbook Prize, Yellow Jacket Press, 2007, for Many Loves.


Looking Out (poetry chapbook), illustrated by wife, Colleen Ahern, Moonsquilt Press (Green Cove Springs, FL), 1981.

Lathe (poetry), Pygmy Forest Press (Springfield, OR), 1987.

White Birds (poetry chapbook), M.A.F. Press, 1989.

A Small Boat (poetry), University of Central Florida Press (Orlando, FL), 1990.

Immaculate Bright Rooms (poetry chapbook), March Street Press (Greensboro, NC), 1994.

(Editor and contributor) Having a Wonderful Time! (poetry), Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1997.

Many Simple Things (poetry chapbook), March Street Press (Greensboro, NC), 1997.

Sleeping with the Lights On (poetry chapbook), Pudding House Publications (Columbus, OH), 2000.

Singing with My Father (poetry), March Street Press (Greensboro, NC), 2001.

The Point of Touching, John LeBow (Candia, NH), 2002.

Greatest Hits: 1987-2001 (poetry), Pudding House Publications (Columbus, OH), 2002.

Behind Our Memories (poetry), Adastra Press (Easthampton, MA), 2003.

Stationary Wind (poetry), March Street Press (Greensboro, NC), 2004.

Flock & Shadow: New and Selected Poems, New Rivers Press (Moorhead, MN), 2005.

Swimmer Dreams (poetry), Turning Point (Cincinnati, OH), 2005.

Many Loves (poetry chapbook), Yellow Jacket Press (Roswell, NM), 2007.

Work represented in anthologies, including American Fiction '88; How to Read a Poem, Mercer University Press; Under the Rock Umbrella, Mercer University Press; The Party Train: North American Prose Poems, New Rivers Press, 1995; The College Handbook of Creative Writing, edited by Robert DeMaria, Harcourt (New York, NY), 1997; and Saints of Hysteria, edited by Duhamel, Trinidad, and Seaton, Soft Skull Press (New York, NY), 2007. Contributor of poetry and essays to journals and newspapers, including Poetry East, Sun, TriQuarterly, Orion, Literary Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, Witness, and Kansas Quarterly.


Michael Hettich once told CA: "I don't remember how old I was when my father started regularly sitting me down beside him on the living room couch and reading to me from his favorite poets, but I do know that I was young enough to understand very little of what the poems meant, that I was still innocent enough to be unconcerned with their meaning. I sat there secure and happy beside my father, who smelled of cocktails and his own tanned skin, who sat beside me in shorts, often, even in the chilly house in winter. He loved to intone those poems in a deep theatrical voice that he never used otherwise, with a self-conscious, oratorical enunciation that surprised and even frightened me a little: he seemed another person when he read poems to me, and yet he seemed exactly himself. This realization was as fascinating as it was disconcerting. My father, whom I (mistakenly) thought myself uncannily ‘similar to,’ had this odd and wonderful secret self that spoke when he read those flinty poems. So, listening to him read, I wondered who else I might be and still be me.

"In an oddly physical way, not understanding them seemed to keep the poems potent. I was charmed. I felt something more mysterious and resonant even than I felt when I listened to music: a possibility beyond the range of ordinary talk, beyond ordinary consciousness (though of course I didn't think in those terms). I felt as though I'd been suddenly made aware of a vast world of mystery and possibility that existed, not only in the realm of fairy tales and children's stories, but right here beside my father, and right here inside myself.

"For me, the essence of poetry has always been this prayer-song power, this power to speak our inner life through rhythm, through sound that simultaneously charms us into and lifts us out of ourselves, for a breath, and leaves us more firmly ourselves. Poetry enacts a welding of spiritual and physical, of primal and intellectual, that brings our two energy essences, body and mind, together for one ecstatic moment of life. Of course, this happens rarely: very few poems contain sufficient accuracy of mystery, which is an accuracy of complex feeling across image and time. And the essence of poetry is this dance, a rehearsed, formal cry of the heart. Having felt true poetry, even once, we go looking for it our entire lives."



Michael Hettich Home Page,http://www.michaelhettich.com (July 24, 2008).