Heather Lanier illuminates truths about the human condition that speak to both the head and the heart.
Heather is a poet, essayist, teacher, speaker, and thrift-store shopper. An assistant professor of creative writing at Rowan University, she is the author of the memoir, Raising a Rare Girl (Penguin Press, July 2020), a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice, along with two award-winning poetry chapbooks, The Story You Tell Yourself, and Heart-Shaped Bed in Hiroshima. She is the recipient of a Vermont Creation Grant and an Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award. Her full-length poetry collection, Psalms of Unknowing, is forthcoming from Monkfish Publishing.
Heather often writes at the intersections of spirituality, motherhood, and feminism. Her essays and poems have been published in The Atlantic, TIME, The Sun, Salon, Brevity, Vela Magazine, Longreads, and elsewhere. Her TED talk, “’Good’ and ‘Bad’ Are Incomplete Stories We Tell Ourselves,” has been viewed three million times and translated into 18 languages. Her essay, “Out There I Have to Smile,” was among the top 10 most-read Longreads essays of 2021.
With an MA in Teaching from Johns Hopkins and an MFA in Creative Writing from Ohio State, Heather has taught Shakespeare to ninth graders in Baltimore, conversational English to housewives, ship workers, and executives in Japan, and expository and creative writing to undergraduates at places such as UC Berkeley, Miami University, and Southern Vermont College. After seven years in the Green Mountain State, she is learning to live—and drive—in New Jersey. If you follow her on Twitter or Instagram, she vows never to post a post-workout selfie… although if you do, she’ll cheer you on!
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Heather Lanier is an essayist, memoirist, and poet. She’s the author of the memoir, Raising a Rare Girl, along with two award-winning poetry chapbooks. Her nonfiction has appeared in The Atlantic, Salon, Fourth Genre, Brevity, Vela, and elsewhere. A recipient of an Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award and a Vermont Creation Grant, she’s an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Rowan University. Her TED talk, “‘Good’ and ‘Bad’ Are Incomplete Stories We Tell Ourselves,” has been viewed over two million times.