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Research Interests: Contemporary poetry, literature for children, linguistics, women’s studies, eighteenth-century British literature, nineteenth-century British literature, twentieth-century British literature, American literature, literary criticism, the drama, creative writing, composition, Jewish literature.

I have a Ph.D. in English Language and Literature from the University of Chicago. I am a past president of the Society for the Study of Midwestern Literature, and I am currently president of the Michigan College English Association. 
I have published three poetry books: Exodus (WordTech Editions, 2014), Folk Concert: Changing Times (Anaphora Literary Press, 2012), and Traffic Stop (Finishing Line Press, 2011). I have published 170 poems in journals and anthologies. 

Fictive Press published my middle-grade historical fiction chapter book The Passover Surprise in 2015.
I am a founding mother of Primavera, a literary magazine. Primavera has won awards from Chicago Women in Publishing and the Illinois Arts Council and grants from CCLM and the NEA. My book of literary criticism, Coleridge, Lamb, Hazlitt, and the Reader of Drama, was published in 1990 by the University of Missouri Press. My creative nonfiction essay “Returning to Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin” appeared in Midwestern Miscellany in 2008. My play The Cell Phone won fourth place in a national contest and was performed twice at the Fenton Village Players One-Act Play Festival on June 24-25, 2011 in Fenton, Michigan.

My fiction picture book about bullying for children, How the Moon Regained Her Shape (Arbordale, 2006), won a Book Sense Pick in 2006, a Children’s Choices selection for 2007, a Benjamin Franklin Award for 2007, and a Gold Medal in the Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards for 2007. In 2009, How the Moon Regained Her Shape was one of five finalists for the Patricia Gallagher Picture Book Award given by the Oregon Reading Association.

Janet Ruth Heller

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