A relentless experimenter and explorer...Heidi Lynn Staples says yes, and she does it in ways that are as interesting and compelling and intellectually rigorous as I know. -- Anna Lena Phillips Bell 

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Heidi Lynn Staples’ debut collection Guess Can Gallop was selected by Brenda Hillman as a winner of the New Issues Poetry Prize. Her recent fifth book A**A*A*A* was a grant-supported eco-project engaged with two-years of poetic field research across the Mobile-Bay Watershed.

 

With an academic specialization in ecopoetics and creative eco-engagement, Heidi has presented her research at national and international conferences. Her poems and critical essays have appeared in American Poetry ReviewBoston ReviewChicago ReviewDenver QuarterlyGeorgia ReviewEcotoneEleven ElevenjubilatPloughsharesWomen's Studies Quarterly, and elsewhere. Her poetry has been anthologized in Best American Poetry, GurlesqueThe Incredible Sestina AnthologyA Literary Field-guide to Southern AppalachiaThe Spirit of Black Mountain College, and other venues. With the award-winning poet Amy King, she is editor and founder of Poets for Living Waters, an international digital poetry commemoration responding to the BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, and of Big Energy Poets: When Ecopoetry Thinks Climate Change (BlazeVOX 2018), for which she wrote a critical introduction.

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Heidi holds the MFA from Syracuse University, as well as the BA and PhD from the University of Georgia. She has taught at multiple institutions, including Piedmont College, the Irish Writer's Centre, the National Forensic Mental Hospital of Ireland, and the Language House in Prague. Committed to co-creation with her students, she has elaborated on her methods in taught courses, published articles, and national conferences. Presently an Associate Professor of English and Creative Writing at the University of Alabama, she is enrolled in the BAMA-Distance Online Teaching course and has recently completed a professional certificate in eLearning design.

 

Current works include collaboration with UA Professor of Global Change Ecology, Greg Starr and Director of the Staudhammer Forestry Biometrics Lab, Dr. Christina Staudhammer, who have been invited to study the Long Leaf Pine at the exclusive Jones Center at Ichauway, a protected site harboring some of the most species-rich habitats in the area. Heidi will be a resident writer for several weeks at the Center and will lead community participants in creative eco-engagements, extending ecological memory.


Partnering with ecosocial artist Cathy Fitzgerald of Hollywood Forest, Heidi is at work on Hold Our Breath 2040: Artists and Writers Reimagine Forestation, an international creative digital commemoration of afforestation efforts to address climate change. Its title taken from Jean O’Brien’s poem “Still Here,” in which the poet writes, “We must not forget the forests hold our breath,” Hold Our Breath 2040 is inspired by the Irish climate action plan of planting 440 million trees by the year 2040 and will gather and distribute a broad sustained response to global afforestation from international writers and artists.

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She is also completing Come Down, a ten-year long poetry series composed using word-banks generated from the trash that migrates across her desk, marking the cultural equivalency between the lyric moment and waste. Poems from the collection have appeared widely. Additionally, she has recently begun Spark Bird, a poetic field research and activist project participating in The Eudaimonic Turn, seeking to both grapple with ecological peril and incite joy.