Richard Hedderman

Richard Hedderman

Multi-Pushcart Prize nominated poet, writer, essayist, and educator

Author of the books Choosing a Stone (Finishing Line Press, 2020), and Discovery of Heaven (Parallel Press, 2006)

His work is featured in numerous national and international publications

Writer-in-Residence at the Milwaukee Public Museum

A traveler who has lived in many places, Richard is currently based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

A Poem for Ukraine

I’d been working on this poem for some time – since last summer at least – and getting nowhere with it. When I learned recently that the sunflower is the national flower of Ukraine, all at once the poem found its purpose. I offer it now as a gesture of solidarity with the nation and people of Ukraine.


The Stockholm Review of Literature

Richard’s poem “Needle in a Haystack” is featured in the current issue of The Stockholm Review of Literature. Many thanks to Cian McCourt, Poetry Editor, and Kelvin Kellman, Editor-in-Chief, for honoring his work. The Review “publishes superlative literary fiction, poetry and essays, and undertakes to promote the writers and artists that produce it.” 


barstow & Grand

“Braces Blues,” a new poem, has been selected for publication by Barstow & Grand, an annual print journal highlighting writers connected to Wisconsin’s Chippewa Valley and the Upper Midwest.  All profits from issue sales and submission fees support writers in the Chippewa Valley Writers Guild.


Flint Hills Review

Flint Hills Review published three of Richard’s poems in their newest 2022 issue. Many thanks go to Managing Editor Amy Sage Webb. FHR is a publication of the Donald Reichardt Center for Publishing & Literary Arts at Emporia State University, Emporia, KS.


Clerestory Magazine

Clerestory Magazine recently reprinted two of Richard’s poems from Choosing a Stone, “Bliss,” and “Basque Cooking” for their issue featuring creative writing about food. Clerestory “provides space for writers, artists, community leaders, and activists to engage subjects at the intersection of action and contemplation, bridging the gap between inner and outer work.”


New “Lake Effect” Interview/poetry reading

Richard was once again welcomed by Audrey Nowakowski to WUWM’s “Lake Effect” program on April 14th. This new poetry broadcast honored 414 Day (Milwaukee’s area code). He read his poem “Streets of Old Milwaukee,” and discussed MPM’s gallery of the same name as well as conditions in Milwaukee during WWI.


Recent Reading

Richard was a featured poet at the launch of DeWitt Clinton’s newest book of poems, Hello There on March 20th. The Shepherd Express recently published a fine article about Dewitt and the new book.


Banyan Review Poets Interval

Richard is honored to have his work included in The Banyan Review’s current Poets Interval series. Many thanks to  editor Tayve Neese for featuring two poems. The goal of this program is to feature poets, artists, thinkers, and essayists between published issues as a way to showcase exceptional writers and their work.

MPM Writer-in-Residence

Richard has been officially appointed Writer-in-Residence at the Milwaukee Public Museum, where he has served as a poet and the Education Programs Coordinator since 2004. This is the first such staff position in the Museum’s history, and enormous gratitude is due MPM Education Director Adriana Vazquez and Academic Dean Dr. Jen Zaspel for their vigorous support and advocacy. The appointment opens the door to new and expanded creative writing programming at the Museum, and supports the continued exploration of MPM’s exhibits, collections, fields of research, and mission through the application of creative language arts.


Pop Up Poetry at Milwaukee Public Museum

On June 10th and 11th Richard lead the first Pop-Up Poetry event in the history of the Milwaukee Public Museum. Visitors were invited to compose an original poem inspired by MPM’s Rain Forest gallery, then work with Richard to craft their poem and take home a printed copy. Over the two-day event, several museum visitors wrote original poems celebrating world rain forests and biodiversity, contributing to the success of the program. The next Pop-Up Poetry event will be scheduled at MPM in the coming months.


Pushcart Prize Nomination Announced

Richard has received his third Pushcart Prize nomination. Awarded annually for works of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, the Pushcart Prize is widely considered among the most influential projects in American publishing.


Richard’s Latest Book: Choosing a Stone (2020)

Choosing a Stone is a hymn, my hymn, a canticle to this planet – our home base – and everything I know about the living, the non-human, and the abiotic forces that shape our common history here. For me, each poem in the book is a cairn, a stack of weather-worn rocks marking a path through an interior landscape, and across the dark plain of human mystery to a place of infinite revelation and surprise.

Order it at Amazon or Finishing Line Press.

Feeling grateful to novelist John Galligan for his recent endorsement of the book: “Fantastic work. Deep and rich and polished. I’m savoring the poems one at a time, that’s how good they are.”

Poem of the Month

I’ve loved the prose poem ever since I encountered those of Francis Ponge, the French master of the form, and have since published many of my own. They’re notoriously tough to define, but let’s first consider they’re poems written in a prose form. So, there’s no turn at the end of the line. And, unlike a random paragraph of prose, they include a beginning, middle, and end. Pretty cool, right? Why do I sometimes write a prose poem instead of a poetry poem? Wish I knew.

Poems of the Month are archived on the Poetry page.

Richard’s poems have been featured in

Learn more on the Publications page

From “The Discovery of Heaven”

Then heaven became a place

to lie down in for an hour,
with the long summer sun on our faces,

amid the drone of bees in a tended garden,
and above us the vitreous savannas of cloud.

Photo of Richard by Darren Hauck

Get in touch

Richard Hedderman


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Photo of Richard by Darren Hauck