"Michael Heffernan has sustained and amplified a poetry of real intelligence, technical precision, and acoustic splendour. He is a writer who has hit his stride, sure-footed in his craft enough to let imagination run and leap and dance."
Michael Heffernan was born in 1942 in Detroit, and grew up there, in a multi-ethnic working-class neighborhood, eight blocks from the Detroit River and Canada. He has taught the study and practice of poetry at the University of Arkansas (Fayetteville) since 1986. He regularly offers courses in Shakespeare, Yeats, Frost and Stevens. He began writing poems in 1958, and his subsequent work has earned three fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts (US), two Pushcart Prizes, and the Porter Prize for Literary Excellence. His books include The Cry of Oliver Hardy (1979), To the Wreakers of Havoc (1984), both recently reissued by the University of Georgia Press; The Man at Home (Arkansas, 1988); Love's Answer (Iowa Poetry Prize, 1994); The Night Breeze Off the Ocean (Eastern Washington University Press, 2005), along with his two other books from Salmon, The Back Road to Arcadia (1994) and The Odor of Sanctity (2008). He and his wife, Ann, love being in Ireland. They have four grown children, three sons and a daughter.