Block title

Work Samples

ChickenMICHAEL.jpg

Cover art for SHE NAMED HIM MICHAEL. Illustration by Teddy Johnson.

SheNamedHimMichael.pdf

The first ten pages of my novella SHE NAMED HIM MICHAEL, published by Ink Press in 2017 and winner of the 2017 City Paper Best of Fiction award. (please see projects section below for additional excerpts) This is an experimental/cross-genre work of prose inspired by the true story of Miracle Mike the Headless Chicken—a Colorado chicken that managed to live for 18 months without a head. It’s a story about the fragility and resilience of nature and life, war, the grief associated with loss, how we might live with our dead and the unexpected ways in which one might choose to foster the life of another as a strategy for giving meaning to their own. 

PDF icon SheNamedHimMichael.pdf

LIGHT THERE IS TO FIND_cover1_200.jpg

Cover of Light There is to Find.Photo by the author.

Light There is to Find_Exerpt.pdf

The first five pages of Light There is to Find, published in November 2018. (please see projects section below for a longer excerpt) Between 2015 and 2016, in a quest to take a journalistic angle on fiction-writing, I took two research trips to Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh. Most of my research was conducted in the town of Gyumri—a former cultural capital of the Caucuses region, 80% destroyed after a 1988 earthquake, which took the lives of approximately 25,000. Thirty years later and thousands of Gyumri families still wait for permanent government housing, while living in shanty towns called domiks, consisting of metal containers and scavenged materials, often devoid of basic amenities.

In early January, to coincide with my book launch, I plan to hold an exhibition of my reserach materials, consisting of photographs, film and audio.

The novel's synopsis: It takes the eruption of a benign tumor in her fallopian tubes,a surgical procedure and the news that she can’t conceive, toget Sara thinking about change. An aimless thirty-something artist, the sting of the incision on her abdomen hasn’t even subsided when she decides to break up with her unstable boyfriend, Eric. With little forethought or planning, she buys a ticket to Armenia, a place she knows little about. Her goal: to visit the small town of Gyumri and complete a painting of a building she knows from a photograph on the wall in an Armenian bakery. Her other goal: to run from everyone and everything she knows, even if just for a week or so. What she intends to be a straightforward journey quickly becomes aseries of hurdles. She abandons her itinerary and finds herself on a bus tour headed to the de facto state of Nagorno Karabakh. But not even that proves far enough, and Sara ultimately learns how difficult it is to run from your life.
Light There is to Find weaves together fictive and non-fictive elements, examining what can occur when the privileged outsider attempts to understand the traumas of another culture while simultaneously trying to dodge the traumas associated with their own personal history. 

PDF icon Light There is to Find_Exerpt.pdf

Share:

About Heather

Baltimore County

Heather Rounds's picture
Heather Rounds received her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Baltimore in 2007. After graduating she took a teaching job in Kurdistan, Iraq and while there briefly did some journalism for a local, English speaking newspaper. Her experiences with the paper served as the inspiration for her debut novel, There, which won Emergency Press’ 2011 International book award and was published by the Press in 2013. Her novella, She Named Him Michael, was published by Ink Press in 2017 and... more

There: an experimental novel

After graduating with my MFA I took a teaching job in Kurdistan, Iraq and while there briefly did some journalism for a local, English speaking newspaper. My experiences with the paper served as the inspiration for my debut novel, There, which won Emergency Press’ 2011 International book award and was published by the Press in 2013.

This book gets to the bone of what I seek to most get out of the writing experience: An exploration of place, history and culture by way of the lyrical and visual, placing high value on the way words sound and look on the page, as well as the white space that surrounds them.

Synopsis: There follows a young American journalist working in the capital city of the northern Kurdish region of Iraq, a land verging on economic boom, but never far from a violent past. A cross-genre work that most closely resembles a novel, the story is at once driven and diverted by the young reporter’s struggles to negotiate her own uncertainties in a strange land— observing, participating, and retreating daily from the people and events surrounding her. Assigned reports that the newspaper bosses deem fit for an inexperienced female foreigner, she ultimately turns to writing her own story, relayed with careful attention to the intricacies of language rhythm, acoustics, and repletion. What she discovers is that her own in-betweenness is only amplified in this foreign place, that the tension between ancient customs and contemporary conflicts somehow provides a familiar backdrop for her own attempts to relate to the people back home who, confused by her choice to travel to a dangerous place, ask, why go there?”

Light There is to Find: a novel

Between 2015 and 2016, in a quest to take a journalistic angle on fiction writing, I took two research trips to Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh. Most of my research was conducted in the town of Gyumri—a former cultural capital of the Caucuses region, 80% destroyed after a 1988 earthquake, which took the lives of approximately 25,000. Thirty years later and thousands of Gyumri families still wait for permanent government housing, while living in shanty towns called domiks, consisting of metal containers and scavenged materials, often devoid of basic amenities.

The novel's synopsis: It takes the eruption of a benign tumor in her fallopian tubes, a surgical procedure and the news that she can’t conceive, to get Sara thinking about change. An aimless thirty-something artist, the sting of the incision on her abdomen hasn’t even subsided when she decides to break up with her unstable boyfriend, Eric. With little forethought or planning, she buys a ticket to Armenia, a place she knows little about. Her goal: to visit the small town of Gyumri and complete a painting of a building she knows from a photograph on the wall in an Armenian bakery. Her other goal: to run from everyone and everything she knows, even if just for a week or so. What she intends to be a straightforward journey quickly becomes a series of hurdles. She abandons her itinerary and finds herselfon a bus tour headed to the de facto state of Nagorno Karabakh. But not even that proves far enough, and Sara ultimately learns how difficult it is to run from your life.

In early January 2019, in tandem with a book launch, I plan to hold an exhibition of my reserach materials, consisting of photographs, film and audio.

some published stories

My poetry and short works of fiction have appeared in a variety of publications, including PANK, The Baltimore Review, Poet Lore, Big Lucks, Smokelong Quarterly, Breakwater Review and Atticus Review.

In addition to sharing my work through publication, I enjoy participating in readings both locally and elsewhere. I gave my first reading at the 14Karat Cabaret’s Shattered Wig night back in 2006 and through the years I’ve read at a number of reading series/events, including the Worms Reading Series, Artichoke Haircut, 510 Reading Series and the Starts Here Reading Series. Participating in the Baltimore arts community is something I truly value.

some published prose poems

My poetry and short works of fiction have appeared in a variety of publications, including PANK, The Baltimore Review, Poet Lore, Big Lucks, Smokelong Quarterly, Breakwater Review and Atticus Review.

In addition to sharing my work through publication, I enjoy participating in readings both locally and elsewhere. I gave my first reading at the 14Karat Cabaret’s Shattered Wig night back in 2006 and through the years I’ve read at a number of reading series/events, including the Worms Reading Series, Artichoke Haircut, 510 Reading Series and the Starts Here Reading Series. Participating in the Baltimore arts community is something I truly value.

She Named Him Michael: an experimental novella

World War II has ended and on a farm in the Great Valley of Colorado, the youngest son failed to return from Normandy, leaving the mother tucked in bed with grief and a ticking in her ear. In the fields, the velvetleaf weeds are encroaching on the sugar beets and the oldest son and the wife can barely keep up with the demand of the work. Life changes in a night, when the oldest son fails to cut the head clean off the dinner chicken. When the chicken survives the blow, the wife decides to name him Michael. Soon realizing the fortune that can come from a headless, living chicken, the oldest son and wife take off for life on the road with the traveling circus’ Tent of Nature’s Mistakes. The rest is history, a strange journey in a world where tigers have three legs and elephants have no ears and chickens have no heads.

This is an experimental/cross-genre work of prose inspired by the true story of Miracle Mike the Headless Chicken—a Colorado chicken that managed to live for 18 months without a head. It’s a story about the fragility and resilience of nature and life, war, the grief associated with loss, how we might live with our dead and the unexpected ways in which one might choose to foster the life of another as a strategy for giving meaning to their own. The book was published by Ink Press in 2017.

Connect with Heather

website:

Heather's Curated Collection

This artist has not yet created a curated collection.