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

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 “Lake Effect” Interview/poetry reading

Richard will be appearing on WUWM’s “Lake Effect” this Thursday, April 14th, with a new poetry broadcast honoring 414 Day (Milwaukee’s area code). He’ll discuss MPM’s Streets of Old Milwaukee gallery and conditions in Milwaukee in the WWI era, followed by a reading of my poem, “Streets of Old Milwaukee.” The segment airs sometime between noon and 1 PM CST on WUWM (89.7 FM). Hope you can take a listen.


National Endowment for the Arts Grants for Arts Projects Program

Richard has been selected to serve as a Visual Arts panelist for the 2022 National Endowment for the Arts Grants for Arts Projects program. Founded in 1965 by an act of Congress, the NEA is an independent agency of the U.S. government that offers support and funding for projects exhibiting artistic excellence.


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.


Praise for Recent workshop

According to Lisa Henner, co-founder of Wisconsin’s Driftless Writing Center, “Richard’s poetry workshop got rave reviews!”


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. According to Ms. Neese, 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.



On Thursday, November 4th, Richard again had the privilege of chatting with Audrey Nowakowski during a Poetry Break on WUWM’s “Lake Effect” radio program, and reading poems about the Milwaukee Public Museum’s mummy and about King Tut.


Three Poems published on the Across the Margin Website

Thanks to Across the Margin, who published three of Richard’s poems on August 24th: “Interlude,” “Still Life With Work Boots,” and “Thorn. The Across the Margin website is a creative, artistic home for writers and wordsmiths.

In addition, much gratitude to writer Tabatha Yeatts, who read those poems and included “Reading Yourself to Sleep” in her outstanding blog on August 26th. Thanks, Tabatha!

Clerestory Magazine

This month, Clerestory Magazine will issue reprints of two of Richard’s poems from Choosing a Stone for an upcoming issue featuring creative writing on the subject of 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.”

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 always connect kite flying with spring and summer. In composing this month’s poem, I imagined a soldier at the end of the wars finally getting a peaceful moment to send a kite up, the string tethered to an exuberant blue sky cleansed by pure, healing winds. Why a Royal Dragoon? I’m unapologetically fascinated by Napoleonic militaria. 

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