The Mica Mine, a book of poetry by Michael Hettich ’75 has won the 2020 Lena Shull Book Award from the North Carolina Poetry Society and will be published by St. Andrews University Press.
The Mica Mine by Michael Hettich ’75 is the 2020 recipient of the Lena Shull Book Award. Sponsored annually by the North Carolina Poetry Society, the award honors the best manuscript of unpublished poetry written by a native or resident of North Carolina and includes publication by St. Andrews University Press.
Celebrated poet Richard Blanco — who served as the inaugural poet at President Barack Obama’s second inauguration — describes The Mica Mine as a “stunningly intuitive and elemental collection” in which Hettich “celebrates the unspoken dialogues of the natural world with linguistic dexterity and fierce transformative details … reminding us of our brief and earthly inheritance. Lyrical, ruminative, awe-inspiring.”
The book is Hettich’s 12th full-length collection of poems. He has also published several chapbooks and handmade books that incorporate art and poetry. His poetry has appeared in journals such as Orion, Ploughshares, TriQuarterly, Witness and The Sun. His other awards include three fellowships from the Florida Arts Council, the Tampa Review Prize in Poetry, the David Martinson Award in Poetry and a Florida Book Award.
Hettich earned an English degree with Honors and went on to earn a master’s in creative writing and literature from the University of Denver and a Ph.D. in English and American literature from the University of Miami. He retired as a professor of English and creative writing from Miami Dade College, where he served as co-adviser of the student literary magazine and held the Mac Smith Endowed Teaching Chair in Environmental Ethics.
He currently serves as contributing editor of The Hole in the Head Review, a poetry journal founded and edited by William Schulz ’75.