Newly released from Sable Books, Conjoining – a poetry collection giving a feminist perspective on the monstrous body, since so many cultural texts attribute fault to the mother: her imagination, accusations of sex with demons or animals, and even contemporary issues like thalidomide and radiation. You can read excerpts from it here:


“Rachel,” in Angle: A Journal of Poetry in English (scroll to page 69).


“A Child of God, Much Like Yourself: A Mutagenic Fantasia,” in Waxwing.


“Conjoining,” in storySouth.


“Woman Has Phantom Pregnancy, With Quintuplets,” in One.


“Fugue: Maternal Imagination,” in Connotation Press: A Poetry Congeries.


“Doggerel,” in Rogue Agent.



A Is For A-ké, The Chinese Monster; and the Tragedy of P, His Parasitic Twin (Dancing Girl Press, 2015)


Based on the true account of a 19th-century Cantonese youth, this magical realist narrative imagines the twins as symbiotic characters set against the First Opium War with Britain. Here’s an excerpt published in TAB: A Journal of Poetry & Poetics.



North Dakota Is Everywhere: An Anthology of Contemporary North Dakota Poets (NDSU Press, 2015)


The scope of the poets in this collection is as broad as the landscape itself, including work by Heid E. Erdrich, Mark Vinz, Debra Marquart, Ed Bok Lee, and North Dakota’s Poet Laureate Larry Woiwode. In writing about those who ache in this great expanse, these poems are about what connects us together as humans, poems that sing to each other across lines and pages and space, demonstrating that, as poet Thomas McGrath asserts in his Letter to an Imaginary Friend, North Dakota is everywhere.


Here’s a video of 9 of the authors participating in the North Dakota Quarterly-sponsored reading of the anthology.



Self-Portrait as Bettie Page (Barefoot Muse Press, 2014)


"If “nuns fret not at their convent’s narrow rooms / and hermits are contented with their cells,” imagine the fun to be had in lacing pin-up icon Bettie Page into this “scanty plot” of poetic corset, the sonnet. Rarely are form and content so well suited as in Heidi Czerwiec’s wittily kinky peek-a-boo of a collection, almost-but-not-quite bursting at its seams with author/persona conflation/confusion, wide-ranging allusions, and wonderful word-play. Full of “levity” and “heft,” the poems “capture…in meter’s narrow aperture” not only the biography/mythology of Bettie Page, but also a strong sense of an authorial coming to terms with her own formal ars poetica. Indeed, “it’s hard outside constraints that you construct,” but it’s easy as cheesecake to appreciate these poems, on the cutting edge of contemporary work that is keeping the seemingly ancient form of the sonnet smart, sexy, and ever so relevant." —Moira Egan


"In alternately saucy and searing formal lyrics, Heidi Czerwiec costumes herself in the contradictory and enigmatic guises of Bettie Page: sex symbol, icon, girl next door, fetish, recluse, victim, myth. Czerwiec’s elegant forms reclaim formalism as sexy, even a little bit kinky, with a sly twist of camp, through positing form as a type of bondage, or S&M play. These deft poems playfully pin up and seriously pin down the Bettie Page mystique and the performative and elusive subjectivity of female sexuality—as well as the complex relationships of subject to object, free to formal verse, and bodies au naturel to bodies in bondage." —Lee Ann Roripaugh


Hiking the Maze (Finishing Line Press, 2009)


"At the beginning of her subtle and wide-ranging meditation on the remote “Maze” district of Utah’s Canyonlands, Heidi Czerwiec urges us to “drink your fill,” later, to “Listen for the unfathomable, the crescendo.”  This is also excellent advice for the reader of her poem, of which it could be said, to play on more of her own resonant lines, “the god of these words/ is an old god."  —Jacqueline Osherow


"This work is original, fresh, intelligent, and worthy.  Heidi’s voice is her own, unlike anyone’s that I know of." —Betty Adcock


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