Kythe Heller is a poet and interdisciplinary artist, as well as a doctoral candidate in Religion and Society under the Committee for the Study of Religion at Harvard University. Her poetry, essays and multimedia work are published and performed widely: she is author of the poetry collection Immolation; other writing most recently appears in Tricycle, The American Poetry Review, POOL, The Alaska Quarterly Review, The Southern Review, and CULT/URE. Performance and multimedia work has been presented at the SEEDS Festival/Earthdance, Sonoma State University, WAXworks (NYC), BAX (NYC), Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and in various collaborations and street performances in NYC and elsewhere. She is a recipient of grants and fellowships from Harvard University, Radcliffe Institute, The MacDowell Colony, Vermont Studio Center, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Squaw Valley Community of Writers, and the Laurels Foundation/PSU; she also teaches in the Language and Thinking Program at Bard College.
Film work at Harvard’s Film Studies Center and Sensory Ethnography Lab includes: “Seven Views of Souvanratana” (A brief study of giantism, ghosts, Laotian refugees, boxing, drowning, flying, and twilight); “Dear Bawa Muhaiyaddeen” (an experimental documentary in collaboration with Peter McMurray, about the Sri Lankan Sufi teacher M.R. Bawa Muhaiyaddeen, which combines documentary, experimental, personal, and performative approaches to this subject to explore accidental forms of intimacy, mediation, cinematic time, transnational space, and religious presence); “FarNear” (a sensory exploration of the limits of visuality, the hospital, and otherness); and “the sacrifice of language” (with Meghan McNealy and others), a set of ritual practices for the killing and re-conceiving of language in the near-future sentient city. Her current project is a study of girls living on the street in Portland, Oregon.