Kathleen M. Heideman


Kathleen M. Heideman is the author of Psalms of the Early Anthropocene (Winter Cabin Books, 2017) and two previous chapbooks. She is a fellow of the National Science Foundation’s Antarctic Artists & Writers Program, and has completed numerous artist residencies with watersheds, forests and the National Park Service. She is drawn to wild and threatened places, and works to protect them. Heideman serves on the board of the Upper Peninsula Environmental Coalition. Curious woman.


In April 2018, the Marquette Choral Society premiered The Night Psalms, an original cantata by American composer Griffin Candey featuring texts by Kathleen M. Heideman, Anastasia Penington-Flax and Walt Whitman. Performances were held in the Reynolds Recital Hall on the campus of Northern Michigan University.

Heideman holds degrees from Minneapolis College of Art and Design (BFA) and Northern Michigan University (MA). She resides in Marquette, dividing her time between Lake Superior and remote locations on the Yellow Dog Plains.

kathleenheideman_photobychristinesaariCabin on the Yellowdog Plains

Author photograph by Christine Saari.


I am reporting from the fraying edge of the wild as our planet spins into the Anthropocene. I am bearing witness — even as mining companies descend on the Lake Superior Basin in a frantic, unsustainable search for billion-dollar sulfide orebodies (polymetallic deposits including nickel, copper, zinc, gold, silver, platinum group elements) — even as our cultural ideas of “Nature” and “Wilderness” are undermined — even as we are told what to desire and where to buy it. My work investigates wild lands, wetlands, and climate-driven changes to the Boreal. My recent poems seek sacred zones and speak of sacrifice zones, with howling grief and psalmic praise.


As a Fellow of the National Science Foundation’s Antarctic Artists & Writers Program, Heideman observed scientists conducting research at remote field camps on Antarctica – from biologists diving beneath sea-ice to gather foraminifera specimens in the Ross Sea, to astrophysicists at the South Pole constructing neutrino detectors.

She has completed prestigious artist-in-residence programs, working with watersheds, forests, private foundations, and the National Park Service to interpret wild places through poems and paintings.

  • Helene Wurlitzer Foundation of New Mexico – Taos residency2011
  • Necedah National Wildlife Refuge – Artist in Residence, 2010
  • Aspen Guard Station, San Juan Public Lands – Artist in Residence, 2010

  • Andrews Experimental Forest, Willamette National Forest – Writer in Residence, 2010

  • Badlands National Park – Artist in Residence, 2010

  • Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore – Artist in Residence, 2008

  • Isle Royale National Park – Artist in Residence, 2008

  • St. Croix Watershed Research Station (Science Museum of MN) – Artist in Residence at Pine Needles, 2008
  • Voyageurs National Park – Artist in Residence, 2003

  • Devils Tower National Monument – Bearlodge Writer’s Residency, 2002

  • Eastern Frontier Society, Norton Island, Maine – Artist in Residence, 2001

  • Apostle Islands National Lakeshore – Sand Island Artist in Residence, 2000

  • Anderson Center for Interdisciplinary Studies – Artist in Residence, 2000


Heideman has received awards and recognition from the Bush Foundation, McKnight Foundation, Jerome Foundation, the Loft Center for Writers, Minnesota Center for Book Arts and the Minnesota State Arts Board. She received Northern Michigan University’s “Outstanding Young Alumni” award in 1999.

Her environmental work has been recognized with a Freshwater Hero Award from Freshwater Future, and the Michigan Sierra Club’s White Pine award. Other activities:

  • Speaker,  Cedar Tree Institute, 2022
  • Inaugural Hike, Christ Andersen Headwaters Preserve (co-led with botanist Steve Garske), 2022
  • Speaker, Water Celebration (The Coalition to SAVE the Menominee River), 2022
  • Finalist, U.P. Poet Laureate, 2017
  • Recipient of City of Marquette Arts & Culture Center’s Outstanding Writer Award, 2015
  • Winner, U.P. Nature Writing Contest, 2014
  • Finalist, U.P. Poet Laureate, 2013


Heideman is the author of Psalms of the Early Anthropocene (Winter Cabin Books), Explaining Pictures To A Dead Hare (Traffic Street Press), She Used to Have Some Cows (La Vacas Press), and the artist book Time Upon Once (Minnesota Center for Book Arts), a collaboration with poet Phebe Hanson and artist Rebecca Alm.

Her work has appeared in Arcadia, Artifice, Burningword, Conduit, Confluence, Cream City Review, decomP, Emerge, Exquisite Corpse, Folio, Fox Cry, Fringe, Iodine, The Maynard, Marquette Monthly, Passages North, Seems, Santa Fe Literary Review, South Dakota Review, Steam Ticket, Sundog: Southeast Review, Tonopah, Untethered, Water-Stone, Wicked Alice, Willow Springs, and in numerous literary anthologies:

        * Psalms of the Early Anthropocene – read book review in AGATE

SELECT READINGS * denotes solo reading

  • Undone with Wonder – members of the Marquette Poets Circle celebrate a new collection of poems by Helen Haskell Remien
    January 30, 2023
    Peter White Public Library, Marquette MI
  • Great Lakes Poetry Fest: Thomas Lynch & Kathleen M. Heideman
    April 12, 2022
    Peter White Public Library, Marquette MI
  • Word in Action – A Reading for Flood Relief in the Keweenaw
    August 8, 2018
    The Joy Center, Ishpeming MI
  • A Tribute to Poet Judith Minty – Marquette Poets Circle
    August 1, 2018
    Peter White Public Library, Marquette MI
  • Huron Mountain Club Gallery – National Poetry Month Reading
    April 19, 2018
    Peter White Public Library, Marquette MI
  • Maiden Voyage Anthology – Poetry Reading
    April 17, 2018
    Portage Lake Public Library, Houghton MI
  • PoetTree of Nature – Environmental reading for National Poetry Month
    April 5, 2018
    Peter White Public Library, Marquette MI
  • * Taking it Personally: Poems of Solastalgia
    March 27, 2018
    Great Lakes Center, Michigan Technical University, Houghton MI
  • Maiden Voyage Anthology – Poetry Reading
    March 9, 2018
    St. Ignace Public Library, St. Ignace MI
  • And Here: 100 Years of Upper Peninsula Writing – reading and book signing with Ellen Airgood, Jillena Rose and Kathleen Heideman
    November 2, 2017
    Michigan Technological University’s Van Pelt and Opie Library, Houghton MI
  • Maiden Voyage Anthology – Poetry Reading
    October 18, 2017
    Carnegie Public Library, Ishpeming MI
  • Maiden Voyage Anthology – Book Launch Reading
    October 16, 2017
    Peter White Public Library, Marquette MI
  • And Here: 100 Years of Upper Peninsula Writing – reading and book signing with contributors Eric Gadzinski, Kathleen M. Heideman, L.E. Kimball, Rosalie Sanara Petrouske and M. Bartley Seigel
    August 16, 2017
    Munising Public Library, Munising MI
  • And Here: 100 Years of Upper Peninsula Writing – book signing with Kathleen Heideman, L.E. Kimball, Rosalie Sanara Petrouske and M. Bartley Seigel
    August 16, 2017
    Falling Rock Café and Bookstore, Munising MI
  • And Here: 100 Years of Upper Peninsula Writing – reading with anthology contributers
    August 16, 2017
    Negaunee City Library, Negaunee MI
  • Writing from the Edge of Wildpoems and dialog between Michigan poets Kathleen M. Heideman and Janeen Pergrin Rastall
    April 7, 2017
    Koning Micro-Cinema at Wealthy Theater, Grand Rapids MI
  • Walt Whitman’s Song of Myself – Free Verse for a Free Nation
    February 4, 2017
    Carnegie Library Building, Petoskey MI
  • Road Work: A Reading of Travel Writing – featuring Travis Naught reading from his new novel JOYRIDE, joined by Jonathan Johnson, Russell Thorburn, Kathleen M. Heideman and others
    September 11, 2016
    Landmark Inn Boardroom, Marquette MI
  • * Something in the Starry Night Keeps Asking to be Held
    March 14, 2015
    Peter White Public Library, Marquette MI 


Heideman has participated in poetry readings held at the St. Ignace Public Library, Superior Poetry Cafe, Petoskey Carnegie Library, Ishpeming Carnegie Library, Bayliss Public Library, Peter White Public Library, Ore Dock Brewing Company, Walker Art Center, Hennepin Center for the Arts, Borders Books, Cedar Tree Institute, coffee shops around the Midwest, and at sites ranging from park shelters and visitor centers to Antarctica.

Heideman was a featured presenter at the Upper Peninsula Environmental Coalition’s Celebrate the U.P.! events in 2015. She has broad experience delivering workshops, keynotes and multimedia presentations, addressing such diverse topics as poetry, grassroots environmental efforts, place-based learning, scientific and creative inquiry, instructional technology and her residency experiences working in the National Parks:

  • You Are Here – Great Lakes Center, Michigan Technical University, 2018
  • Writing from the Edge of Wild – Great Lakes Commonwealth of Letters, 2017
  • Department of the Interiors – Writers Reading Series, Marian University. 2011
  • Wetland & Slough Poems of Refuge – Necedah National Wildlife Refuge, 2010
  • Location, Location, Location – Cortez Cultural Center, 2010
  • You Are Here: Badlands & The Dry Valleys – Visiting Writer, Kadoka Public Schools and at the Badlands Visitor Center, South Dakota, 2010
  • Tracking Curiosity: Lake Superior to Antarctica – Association of University Women Keynote, Northern Michigan University, 2008
  • Mind on ICE: Isolated and Confined Environments – Psychology Department Colloquium, Northern Michigan University, 2008
  • As Island, So Poem – Rock Harbor Lodge, Isle Royale National Park, 2008
  • The Moving Dunes – Empire Visitor Center,Sleeping Bear Dunes Visitor Center, 2008
  • Tracking Curiosity: Minnesota to Antarctica – St. Croix Watershed Research Station, 2008
  • Chattermarks: Poetry & the Landscape of Voyageurs National Park – Woodenfrog State Park MN, 2003
  • Around the Archipelago: A Poet Interprets the Landscape, Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, 2000
  • Poetry, People and The Land – Finlandia University, 1999
  • Sense of Place – Mark Luyten Exhibition, Walker Art Center, 1997
  • Heideman (as Developer of Minneapolis College of Art and Design’s Online Learning program) and her colleague Rebecca Alm (Director of Minneapolis College of Art and Design’s Online Learning program) participated and presented at numerous professional conferences devoted to Education and Technology (Educause; Syllabus; International Literacy & Education Research Network; Sloan-C International Conference on Asynchronous Learning Networks; Minnesota Private Colleges IT Directors group) – in Minneapolis, San Francisco, Chicago, Baltimore, Havana and elsewhere, 2001-2008
  • Heideman has addressed regional/national forums, including the Alliance of Independent Colleges of Art and Design, the National Association of Schools of Art and Design, and the Women’s Caucus for Art.


Kathleen’s paintings have been exhibited locally at the Huron Mountain Club Gallery, Sweet Water Café, Babycakes, Marquette Baking Company, Ore Dock Brewing Company, and in Lake Superior Art Association member shows at the Marquette Arts and Culture Center. Other exhibits include National Park Artists-in-Residence “Summer Arts: Inspired by the National Parks,” the National Park’s online exhibition, “Through Your Eyes,” and “The Art of Stewardship of the Antarctic” presented at a 2014 gathering of the Antarctican Society. Her work was included in the exhibit “Collected Works from the NSF’s Antarctic Artists & Writers Program” (Maryland Science Center, 32nd Antarctic Treaty Conference, 2009). Watercolors from her artist residency at Badlands National Park were featured on the National Parks Traveler website.


From 2014-2016, Heideman served as president of Save the Wild U.P., a grassroots environmental organization defending Upper Michigan’s clean water and wild places from the dangers of sulfide mining. Under her leadership, SWUP merged with the Upper Peninsula Environmental Coalition, forming the Mining Action Group. She serves as a board member of UPEC, and works with the Mining Action Group.