MICHAEL HELLER is a poet, essayist, and critic. Born in Brooklyn and raised in Miami Beach, he was educated as an engineer at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. While working as a technical writer for Sperry Gyroscope, he met several former students of Louis Zukofsky, who introduced him to the work of a wide range of contemporary poets. His poems first appeared in print in the nineteen sixties while he was living in a small village on Spain’s Andalusian coast.  In 1967, after returning to the United States, he took a position at New York University.  Since then, he has written more than 20 books, including Accidental Center (1972), In The Builded Place (1979), Wordflow (1997), Exigent Futures (2003), Living Root: A Memoir (2000) and the prize-winning collection of essays, Conviction’s Net of Branches (1985).  Among his most recent works are a volume of poems, Eschaton (2009), a mixed genre work, Beckmann Variations & other poems (2010) and Speaking the Estranged: Essays on the Work of George Oppen (2008, expanded edition, 2012). His writings on contemporary poetry, Judaic thought and on the intersections of Buddhist and Western philosophy and practice have appeared in various essay collections and journals.  Among his many awards are grants and prizes from the Nation Endowment for the Humanities, the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Poetry Society of America and The Fund for Poetry. He resides in New York City and summers in Colorado.