We Spy Talent: Heather Macpherson

By Erica Gilman

Heather Macpherson

Heather Macpherson is the author of The New Worcester Spy’s next three special feature poems. She attended community college before switching to Regis College in Weston, Massachusetts, where she earned her Bachelor of the Arts degree in English. She went on to attend Salem State College where she earned her Master of Education in Library Media studies. Heather is in her final year of her Master of Arts degree here at Worcester State in English. She looks forward to going for her PhD next year in literature.

Her work has appeared in CLARE Literary, The Broken Plate, Spillway, Pearl, Nerve Cowboy, OVS, Two Hawks Quarterly, Rougarou, and most recently ATOMIC. Her poetry is heavily influenced by art (as is obvious from her poem “Female Perversions, 1927,” based on Laura Sylvia Gosse’s “Les Rentiers”) and prominently features feminist themes. All around, her poems come across as relatable and beautifully complex in the way Heather strings together her phrases and words.

In addition to the work she does writing, Heather and her partner Lea Deschenes founded Damfino Press almost a year ago. Under this name, they publish an online journal featuring poetry, essays and reviews. Besides the online content, the two run a chapbook contest which will re-open for all writers in January of 2016. She encourages submissions; she’s looking to publish a year-one anthology in the Spring of 2016.

Heather also collaborates with WSU graduate Jessica Bane Roberts of The Barred Owl Retreat to host poetry workshops and events. Their next event is a press reading scheduled at River Run Bookstore in Portsmouth, New Hampshire on November 19.

Heather encourages all fellow writers to believe in themselves and keep writing. She recommends finding a supportive writing group, such as Kristina England’s workshop that meets in WSU’s Learning Resource Center’s Café on campus (it can be found through England’s Facebook). Heather shares a mantra she formed after a visit from Joy Katz: you have to take yourself seriously and you have to make things happen for yourself.

Female Perversions, 1927

Inspired by Les Rentiers, an undated painting by Laura Sylvia Gosse


I know exactly what I am.


Hands buried in flap pockets, closer

to my body than anyone can get. My

once soft velvet collar worn from age


how dare you suggest I am used. Double

stitched seams pop in the back curve—

you men over there! I am the details


on watch in this marketplace; a fallen

hem you cannot mend I tailor my self-

admiration, reveal my eyes when I


feel like it. I am educated. I have sex

when I want it and yes, this cloche is new.

I bought it with my own money.


Distraction does not calm the alarm


a din

beneath the rig, their song demanding



meet here:

the tip of your nose cloudy, surface

unruffled, nibbles


away like off-pitch chorus sisters;

sleepless crime

is the turbulent equation—high


interest unsolvable

as nature hungers for cold in June

spilled debt


embodies the monthly epistle

lying outside

the bedroom door ajar with arrears


Hades Contemplates a Vacation


Blue sky might be a nice change. I hear the

White Mountains are grand this time of year– snow

-capped and gale. Perhaps grander heights; ski the

swaggering Alps. Or Paris in winter–

stay in, eat croissants, drink a real café

au lait. Not that Starbucks crap. Maybe sail around

the world… accept rhythm of lull and rock?

Rough and breaking seas? Wide incessant, guide

me across waters like one unknown to an

other. Hmm. What is rain? I hear talk of

seppuku during the “wet season” in

Seattle. All those lost souls finding their


way to me, a mild ethos, and a three-

headed dog. Falls from paradise may

ease the tension in my neck, release the

sigh no one else could hear.

You can follow Heather J. Macpherson on her wordpress blog at scribblehysteria.wordpress.com, or like her on Facebook. If you have any questions or would like to get in touch, contact her at hmacpherson@worcester.edu.


1 Comment

  1. I know both the author and the subject of the article, and I am proud of those connections. Both are eloquent, intelligent women who are graced with insight and humor. What a wonderful article and what sparkling poetry.

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