Kythe Heller

Kythe Heller (B.A., Reed College; M.F.A., Sarah Lawrence College; M.Div., Ph.D. candidate, Harvard University) is an award-winning poet, essayist, performer, filmmaker, and doctoral student in the Committee on the Study of Religion at Harvard University, with a secondary field through Visual and Environmental Studies/Social Anthropology in Critical Media Practice. Her creative practice and research resonate with a matrix of philosophical, aesthetic, and theological sources, in which writing, spiritual training, performance, documentary film, and ethnography intersect and are shaped by the dynamic interface of subjectivity and language – the wound and the word —  and inquire into the incarnational and the transformational. In what ways can our writings become sites of evolution, sites of resistance, parts of an array of realizing new social and ecological relationships by considering how to use language to radically change our way of being in the world? Her poetry and essays have been published widely, most recently in the Harvard Divinity Bulletin, Tricycle, The American Poetry Review, and the Cambridge University Press volume White Light. She is author of the poetry collection Immolation and a recipient of grants and fellowships from Harvard University, The MacDowell Colony, Vermont Studio Center, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Squaw Valley Community of Writers, and the Laurels Foundation/PSU. Recent film and multimedia work has been presented at the Harvard Film Studies Center, SEEDS Festival/ Earthdance, Sonoma State University, WAXworks (NYC), BAX (NYC), Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and in various collaborations and street performances in NYC and elsewhere. She has taught contemporary poetics, religion, literature, arts and media courses at Harvard University, Sarah Lawrence College, Bard Prison Initiative, and Hofstra University, as well as in the Language and Thinking Program at Bard College, where she has taught as a poet on the faculty since 2007. More information is available at