More About the Author
I was bullied when I was in elementary school, so I wrote a book to help other kids so that they do not have to suffer in silence as I did. In my award-winning fiction picture book How the Moon Regained Her Shape (Arbordale, hardback--2006, paperback--2007, e-book, audio, and Spanish edition--2008, 3rd paperback edition and iPad app--2012), the sun bullies the moon, and her feelings are so badly hurt that she shrinks and leaves the sky. The moon turns to a comet and her friends on earth, who comfort her, and she regains her full shape and self-esteem. The moon also returns to her orbit. Influenced by Native American legends and rituals, How the Moon Regained Her Shape emphasizes the importance of self-confidence and friendship, and it gives children a model for dealing with bullies. Independent booksellers chose How the Moon Regained Her Shape as a Book Sense Pick for 2006. Also, my book won a Children's Choices selection for 2007, a Benjamin Franklin Award for 2007, and a Gold Medal in the Moonbeam Children's Book Awards for 2007. How the Moon Regained Her Shape was also one of five finalists for the Patricia Gallagher Picture Book Award of 2009, an award given by the Oregon Reading Association.
My scholarly book, Coleridge, Lamb, Hazlitt, and the Reader of Drama, was published by the University of Missouri Press in 1990. It is a literary history of the bias against staged performances of tragedy, with an emphasis on the British Romantics. The book includes film theory, reader-response theory, and educational theory.
I have a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. I am a past president of the Society for the Study of Midwestern Literature, and I am now president of the Michigan College English Association. My literary criticism has appeared in many journals, including Women's Studies, Poetics, Language and Style, Twentieth Century Literature, The Charles Lamb Bulletin, Concerning Poetry, Shakespeare Bulletin, PBSA, The Eighteenth Century, Literature and Psychology, Nineteenth-Century Prose, The Library Quarterly, MidAmerica, Theatre Journal, and the anthology Between Anthropology and Literature: Interdisciplinary Discourse (Routledge, 2002).
WordTech Editions published my poetry book Exodus (2013). The poems in Exodus are modern re-interpretations and psychological explorations of the people and events in the Bible. A central metaphor is the exodus from Egypt, which represents the journeys that people take: trying new experiences, leaving a bad relationship, finding a new job, taking risks. Many of the poems are dramatic monologues from the perspective of a character in the Scriptures.
Anaphora Literary Press published my poetry book Folk Concert: Changing Times (2012). Folk Concert contains many of my best poems written from the 1970s to 2011. Folk Concert concerns the journey of becoming a woman during difficult times. Themes include feminism, love relationships, college teaching, nature, psychotherapy, travel, the anti-Vietnam War movement, family, the life of an artist/entertainer/writer, and music.
Traffic Stop, my poetry chapbook, was published by Finishing Line Press in August, 2011. My poetry has appeared in many journals, including Anima, Frogpond, Kentucky Poetry Review, The CEA Critic, Organic Gardening, The Writer, Women: A Journal of Liberation, The Minnesota Review, The San Fernando Poetry Journal, Studies in American Jewish Literature, Mothers Today, Wisconsin People & Ideas, Cottonwood, Artful Dodge, and Modern Maturity. My poems have also been published in the anthologies Our Mothers' Daughters (1979), Poets' Voices 1984, Light Year '85, The New Poet's Anthology (1987), Red Flower (1988), Celebrate the Midwest! (1991), Filtered Images: Women Remembering Their Grandmothers (1992), Women's Glib: A Collection of Women's Humor (1991), Modern Poems on the Bible (1994), Pandemonium, or Life with Kids (1995), Women's Spirituality, Women's Lives (1995), Moon Days (1999), I Killed June Cleaver (1999), Women's Encounters with the Mental Health Establishment: Escaping the Yellow Wallpaper (2002), and Recipes for Readers from Michigan's Authors and Illustrators (2009).
I am a founding mother and editor of Primavera, a literary magazine. Primavera has won awards from Chicago Women in Publishing and the Illinois Arts Council and grants from the Coordinating Council of Literary Magazines and the National Endowment for the Arts.
My poem, "Moving In," won the Friends of Poetry annual contest for 1989 and was displayed in buses in Kalamazoo, Michigan. With the other winners, I gave a poetry reading at the Kalamazoo Art Center and videotaped a poetry reading for cable television. Also, in 1989, I presented a poetry reading at Remembering Rachel: The Second National Conference on the Spiritual Woman at Mercy College in Detroit. My reading was published in a special issue of Women and Language in 1993. I have also given poetry readings at the Midwest Modern Language Association Convention in Chicago (1994), the First International Conference on Judaism, Feminism and Psychology in Seattle (1992), the Midwest Poetry Festival at Michigan State University (1991-2010), and many other venues.
My essay "A Visit to Isle Royale" was aired in May, 1999, over Michigan Public Radio WUOM in Ann Arbor. My creative nonfiction "Returning to Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin," appeared in Midwestern Miscellany in 2008. My play The Cell Phone won fourth place in a national contest and was performed at the Fenton Village Players One-Act Play Festival on June 24-25, 2011 in Fenton, Michigan.
My hobbies are hiking, singing, and birdwatching.
My Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/JanetRuthHellerBooks
My website is http://www.janetruthheller.com/, the website for How the Moon Regained Her Shape is www.arbordalepublishing.com/Moon.php , the website for Coleridge, Lamb, Hazlitt and the Reader of Drama is http://press.umsystem.edu/otherbooks/heller.htm , the website for Folk Concert: Changing Times is
and the website for Traffic Stop is http://www.finishinglinepress.com/product_info.php?cPath=2&products_id=437, and links for people to buy Exodus are http://www.amazon.com/Exodus-Janet-Ruth-Heller/dp/1625490615