• Heather Treseler  

    Heather Treseler

    Contact Information
    Office S-303G

    B.A., Brown University
    Ph.D., University of Notre Dame

    Heather Treseler is Associate Professor of English and the Presidential Fellow in Art, Education, and Community at Worcester State University, where she teaches courses in creative writing and American literature. She earned a B. A. in Comparative Literature at Brown University and a Ph.D. in English at the University of Notre Dame.

    A poet and essayist, her teaching areas include twentieth-century American poetry, autobiography, poetry writing, and literature and medicine. Her poetry collection Parturition (2020), won the international chapbook prize from the Munster Literature Centre in Cork, Ireland, in 2019 and the Jean Pedrick Award from the New England Poetry Club in 2020.

    In 2019, her sequence of ten poems, "The Lucie Odes," received The Missouri Review's Jeffrey E. Smith Editors' Prize, and in 2021, her poem "Wildlife" was selected by Spencer Reece for the W. B. Yeats Prize. Her poems appear (or are forthcoming) in Cincinnati Review, Harvard Review, The Iowa Review, Boulevard, Alaska Quarterly Review, Pleiades, Western Humanities Review, PN Review, and The American Scholar among other journals. Her poem “Louisiana Requiem” received Frontier Poetry's summer award in 2018 and has been translated into Hindi.

    Treseler’s poetry criticism and memoir essays have appeared in Boston Review, PN Review, Harvard Review, The Worcester Review, and the Los Angeles Review of Books, among other journals, as well as in several books: Marbles on the Floor: How to Assemble a Book of Poems (2022), Elizabeth Bishop in Context (2021), Elizabeth Bishop and the Literary Archive (2020), Reading Elizabeth Bishop: An Edinburgh Companion (2018), John Berryman, Centenary Essays (2017), Elizabeth Bishop in the Twenty-First Century (2012), and The Salt Companion to John Matthias (2011).

    Recipient of Worcester State’s George I. Alden Award for Excellence in Teaching (2017), Treseler has received support for her writing from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the T. S. Eliot House, the Boston Athenaeum, the Vermont Studio Center, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. In 2021-24, she is a Resident Scholar at Brandeis University’s Women’s Studies Research Center, where she was previously a Visiting Scholar (2017-2020).

  • Courses Taught
    • Creative Writing: Poetry I and Poetry II
    • Contemporary Poetry (1940-present)
    • Modern Poetry (1890-1940)
    • Surveys of American Literature I and II
    • American Women Writers
    • Topics in Twentieth Century Literature
    • Introduction to Narrative Studies of Health and Medicine (Honors Course)
    • Traditions in American Autobiography (Special Topics)
    • Narratives of Law and Desire (First Year Seminar)
    • Four Major American Poets: Gwendolyn Brooks, Elizabeth Bishop, Richard Wilbur, and John Berryman (Graduate Seminar)
    • American Autobiographies (Graduate Seminar)


    (Author) Parturition. Cork: Southword Editions (2020). Winner of the International Chapbook Prize from the Munster Literature Centre in Ireland and the Jean Pedrick Chapbook Prize from the New England Poetry Club

    (Editor) Beyond the Frame: Essays on Art and Public Education, Celebrating a Decade of Collaboration between the Worcester Art Museum and Worcester State University. Worcester: Worcester State University (forthcoming in 2022)

    Book Chapters

    “Poems as Paintings: Life-Drawing in Words,” Marbles on the Floor: How to Assemble a Book of Poems. Eds. Sarah Giragosian and Virginia Konchan. Forthcoming from the University of Akron Press (2022)

    “Elizabeth Bishop in New England,” Elizabeth Bishop in Context. Eds. Angus Cleghorn and Jonathan Ellis. Cambridge University Press (2021)

    “Too Shy to Stop: Elizabeth Bishop and the Scene of Reading,” Elizabeth Bishop and the Literary Archive. Ed. Bethany Hicok. Lever Press (2020)

    “‘Private Faces in Public Spaces’: Bishop’s Triptych of Washington, D.C.,” Reading Elizabeth Bishop: An Edinburgh Companion. Ed. Jonathan Ellis. Edinburgh University Press (2019)

    “Of Letters and Lyric Style: John Berryman’s Homage to Mistress Bradstreet,” John Berryman: Centenary Essays. Eds. Philip Coleman and Peter Campion. Bern: Lang (2017)

    “Dreaming in Color: Bishop’s Notebook Letter-Poems,” Elizabeth Bishop in the Twenty-First Century: Reading the New Editions. Eds. Thomas Travisano, Bethany Hicok, and Angus Cleghorn. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press (2012)

    “Of Kin and Kindred: Matthias’s Poetics of Relationality,” The Salt Companion to John Matthias. Ed. Joseph Doerr. Cambridge: Salt Publishing (2011)

    “Battles in the Boudoir.” Dunstan Thompson: On the Life and Work of a Lost American Master. Eds. D.A. Powell and Kevin Prufer. Pleiades Press (2010)


    “Earthly Trust: at Home with Elizabeth Bishop,” Notre Dame Magazine (2021)

    “Michael Harper, Poet and Metaphysician,” Journal of Ethnic American Literature (2016)

    “One Long Poem: Elizabeth Bishop’s Letters to Dr. Ruth Foster,” Boston Review (2016)

    Named one of Boston Review’s 25 “Most Read” essays of 2016

    “Anything You Want to Be,” Notre Dame Magazine (2015)

    “Boston’s Fabled Mid-Century: An Interview of Maxine Kumin,” Harvard Review (2014)

    “The Subjective Correlative: Poet as Pedagogue,” The Worcester Review (2014)

    “Lucie and Me,” Notre Dame Magazine (2011)

    “Miles to Go,” Notre Dame Magazine (2008)

    “Encounters: Class with Saul Bellow,” Notre Dame Review (2006)


    “Nocturne,” “Cul de Sac,” “Wire,” and “Pastoral,” The American Scholar (2022)

    “Anne Sexton,” Harvard Review (2021)

    “Letters of Ida Bauer to Her Mother” and “19 Berggasse,” Bellingham Review (2021)

    “Birth of Venus” and “Parturition,” Notre Dame Review (2020) Nominated for a Pushcart Prize

    “Aubade,” “Concord,” “Death by Water,” “Petrichor,” Green Mountains Review (2020)

    “Blue Madonna,” Journal of the American Medical Association (2020)

    “Sonnet” and “Quarantine,” On the Seawall (2020)

    “The Lucie Odes,” The Missouri Review (2020) Winner of The Missouri Review's Jeffrey E. Smith Editors' Prize in Poetry

    “Beaux Arts,” Obsidian (2020)

    “Naked: A Letter” and “Thoreau on the Private Institution,” Boston Review (2020)

    “In the Woods,” Western Humanities Review (2020)

    “After Catullus,” “Liturgy,” and “Olympia,” PN Review (2020)

    “Anhedonia,” Alaska Quarterly Review (2020)

    “Barter,” The Worcester Review (2019)

    “Credo,” Ibbetson Street (2019)

    “Skywalker,” Cincinnati Review (2019)

    “Nervosa,” Southern Humanities Review (2019)

    “Caul,” Alaska Quarterly Review (2019)

    “Portal,” River Styx (2019) Nominated for Best New Poetsof 2019

    “Siren,” Pleiades (2019)

    “Cinder,” Salamander (2018)

    “Louisiana Requiem,” Frontier Poetry (2018) Winner of the Frontier Poetry Summer Award

    “Weather,” SWWIM (2018)

    “Shorelines,” Crosswinds Poetry Journal (2018) Second Place in Crosswinds Poetry’s annual contest

    “Hephaestus: Memoir in ‘M’” and “Hera: Memorandum on Latter-Day Leda,” Notre Dame Review (2018)

    “Sappho: Redoubt with Refrain,” Harvard Review Online (2017)

    “Daphne on Being Wood,” “Persephone’s Postcard,” and “Demeter: Calendar Girl,” The Missouri Review (2017) Second Place in The Missouri Review's Jeffrey E. Smith Editors’ Prize in Poetry

    “Voyeur in June,” The Worcester Review (2016) Winner of the 2016 Frank O’Hara Poetry Prize and nominated for a Pushcart Prize

    “Niagara Falls” and “Gnostic’s Book of Genesis,” The Laurel Review (2016)

    “Prayer,” Zocalo Public Square (2015)

    “Vox,” “Theater an der Wien,” and “En’tracte,” Sleipnir (2014)

    “Heresy” and “The Shade,” The Laurel Review (2014)

    “First Opus,” New Border (2013)

    “Collect Call” and “Letter of Law,” Boulevard (2013)

    “Vacationary” and “Waiting Room,” Waccamaw(2012) Nominated for Best New Poets of 2013

    “Into the Apothecary,” Notre Dame Review (2011) Nominated for a Pushcart Prize

    “Salt Samba,” “Lot’s,” “Solstice,” “Triptych,” and “North of Falmouth,” Boulevard (2010)

    “Diagnosis,” Harvard Review (2010)

    “Thei were alle stille and mewet,” “Exeunt,” “Narrator Reads from a Letter,” “Gnosis,” “Mise-en-scène,” and “Proscenium,” The Laurel Review (2010)

    “Thoracic Ode” and “Ribosomal Yoga,” The Iowa Review (2010)

    “Thesaurus for a Year of Desire” and “Flying on a Buttress,” Pleiades (2009)

    “Portrait in the Fourteenth Century,” River Oak Review (2009)

    “Aisle Five,” Southern Poetry Review (2009)

    “To a Great War Historian,” Margie (2008)

    “Atomic Chicken Dance” and “Dèbouchè,” Mid-River Review (2008)

    “Aubade,” “Household Gods,” “Harp-Beat,” and “In the Ears of Flowers,” Oregon Literary Review (2008)

    Review Essays

    “Driving to the Interior: Susan Barba's geode,” Los Angeles Review of Books (2020)

    The Blood of San Gennaro by Scott Harney,” Harvard Review (2020)

    “Song and the Names of Things: Robert Hass's Summer Snow,” Los Angeles Review of Books (2020)

    “Ghost Nights: Deryn Rees-Jones’ Erato,” PN Review (2019)

    “Virginia Konchan’s End of the Spectacle,” Boston Review (2018)

    “Elizabeth Bishop’s Theater of the Inevitable: Elizabeth Bishop’s Brazil by Bethany Hicok and Elizabeth Bishop’s Prosaic by Vidyan Ravinthiran,” Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature (2018)

    “Gnostic Gospel for the Now: B. K. Fischer’s Radioapocrypha,” Los Angeles Review of Books (2018)

    “Frank Bidart’s Mirror: Half-Light, Collected Poems 1965-2015,” Boston Review (2017)

    “Don Patterson’s Sonnets,” Weekly Standard (2017)

    “Megan Marshall’s Biography of Elizabeth Bishop,” Worcester Telegram and Gazette (2017)

    “Imperial Tempest: Seamus Heaney’s Translation of Aeneid, Book VI,” Weekly Standard (2016)

    “Last Stop: Station Zed by Tom Sleigh,” Consequence (2016)

    “Kathleen Ossip’s The Do-Over,” Harvard Review (2016)

    “On Gillian White’s Lyric Shame: The ‘Lyric’ Subject of Contemporary American Poetry,” Elizabeth Bishop Society Bulletin (2015)

    “Little Gods: Fanny Howe’s Second Childhood,” Boston Review (2015)

    “A Poet in Place: Colm Toibin’s On Elizabeth Bishop,” Weekly Standard (2015)

    “T. J. Jarrett’s Zion,” Boston Review (2015)

    “Katie Peterson’s Accounts,” Harvard Review (2014)

    “Human Nature: J. D. Smith’s Labor Day at Venice Beach,” American Book Review (2014)

    “Harold’s Eye: Wayne Miller’s The City, Our City,” Texas Review (2014)

    “Rowan Ricardo Phillips’s The Ground,” Harvard Review (2013)

    “Proleptic Elegy: Rosanna Warren’s Ghost in a Red Hat,” Notre Dame Review (2013)

    “Playing Ball with Petronius Arbiter: Neo-Modernist Games in Matthias’s Trigons,Pleiades (2011)

    “Redemptive Heresy: Jacqueline Brogan’s ta(l)king eyes,” American Book Review (2010)

    “Harbinger of Talent: A Weakness for Boleros by Lidia Torres,” Latino Poetry Review (2009)

    “The Muse of Between: This Side of Skin by Deborah Paredez,” Latino Poetry Review (2009)

    “Demeter’s Song: Mary Jo Bang’s Elegy,” Notre Dame Review (2008)

    “An Epistolary Memoir: Michael Harper’s I Do Believe in People,” Notre Dame Review (2007)

    Honors and Grants

    W. B. Yeats Prize for "Wildlife," selected by Spencer Reece in 2021

    Sheehan Honors Program Course Development Award for the development of two courses: a new honors course, “Introduction to Narrative Studies of Health and Medicine,” and an honors version of “Advanced Poetry Workshop” (2021-22)

    Munster Literature Centre's International Chapbook Prize for Parturition, a collection of poems, in 2020

    Jean Pedrick Award from the New England Poetry Club for the best chapbook published by a New England poet in 2020

    Reading Frederick Douglass Together Grant (2020) from Mass Humanities, the state affiliate for the National Endowment for the Humanities, with co-grantees Professor Hardeep Sidhu (English) and Professor Tanya Mears (History): This grant enabled Worcester State University to sponsor a discussion of Douglass's speech, “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?” including members of our student body, faculty, administration, staff, and Worcester community.

    The Missouri Review's Jeffrey E. Smith Editors' Prize for “The Lucie Odes” (2020)

    Thesaurus for a Year of Desire (manuscript of poems), Finalist for the Crab Orchard Poetry Series First Book Award in 2019; Semi-Finalist for the Wheeler Prize from Ohio State in 2019; Finalist for the Brittingham & Felix Pollak Book Prize from the University of Wisconsin in 2018

    Frontier Poetry Summer Poetry Award Winner (2018), Judged by the Editors of Frontier Poetry for the poem “Louisiana Requiem”

    Furious Flower Poetry Center Emerging Poet Award (2018), Judged by Marilyn Nelson

    George I. Alden Excellence in Teaching Award from Worcester State University (2017)

    Summer Undergraduate Research Grant, “Elizabeth Bishop: from Archive to Archetype” (2015-16): This grant enabled work with two advanced undergraduate students in interpreting newly discovered materials from the Bishop archive. The students developed an award-winning teaching module for high school English curricula, which uses archival material to teach writing as process at introductory and advanced levels.

    Emerging Poet, Massachusetts Poetry Festival, selected to read with Carol Ann Duffy, poet laureate of Great Britain, and Philip Levine, former laureate of the United States, at the festival’s keynote reading in Salem, Massachusetts (May of 2014)

    Faculty Mini-Grant, “‘Dear Little Mother’: John Berryman’s Maternal Muse” (2012-13): This grant enabled travel to the University of Minnesota Library to conduct research on Berryman's correspondence with his mother and the drafts of Homage to Mistress Bradstreet in the Berryman archive.