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.


New Pop-up poetry at Milwaukee public museum

To celebrate National Poetry Month, Richard will lead a Pop-Up Poetry event at the Milwaukee Public Museum on Saturday, April 15th from 11am – 3pm. Visitors are invited to compose an original poem inspired by Milwaukee history, then work with Richard and guest poet/typewriter enthusiast Chris Runblad to craft their poem, and take home a printed copy. All materials are supplied, and no previous experience with poetry is necessary. Just bring your imagination. FREE WITH ADMISSION! Hope to see you there.


NEA Visual ARts Panelist

This past year, Richard was honored to serve as a Visual Arts panelist for the 2022 National Endowment for the Arts projects grant program. Founded in 1965 by an act of Congress, the NEA is an independent federal agency that offers support and funding for projects exhibiting artistic excellence. His nomination was submitted to the NEA’s Director of Museums by Dr. Brandon Ruud, Abert Family Curator of American Art at the Milwaukee Art Museum. Additional thanks for the support of Wendy Clark, Director of Museums, Visual Arts & Indemnity/Visual Arts.


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 and 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 Pushcart Prize Nomination Announced

Richard is pleased to announce his fourth nomination for a Pushcart Prize, an American literary award sponsored by Pushcart Press, that recognizes the best poetry, short fiction, essays, and other genres in the previous calendar year. Many thanks to Pushcart publisher Bill Henderson, and contributing editor Nancy Takacs for honoring his 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.


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 love driving at night. Though I don’t do it much anymore like when I used to cover long stretches of blacktop between widespread gigs and little towns. It’s the closest you’ll ever get to the firmament and the road at the same time, and is thus at once intensely secret and cosmic. The next time you drive at night, watch how the headlights hollow out a route through kingdom come right in front of you. Watch how you follow, unswervingly into the dark.

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

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Richard Hedderman


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Photo of Richard by Darren Hauck