Richard Harteis

Author Richard Harteis

Since 2007, Richard Harteis has worked as the president of the William Meredith Foundation, a 501.c3 organization dedicated to preserving the legacy of the late US Poet Laureate and his partner of 36 years.Mr. Harteis served for two years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Tunisia, worked as a physician assistant in North Africa and Asia and spent a Fulbright year as writer-in-residence at the American University in Bulgaria. For his work in the culture, he was accorded Bulgarian citizenship by decree of the President and Parliament in 1996.Mr. Harteis has taught literature and creative writing at a number of institutions over the years including The Catholic University of America, Creighton University, Mt. Vernon College, and Connecticut College. For two years he directed the PEN Syndicated Fiction Project and created the NPR radio program The Sound of Writing serving as writer/director and host. He has received honors and awards for his work including fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the D.C. Commission on the Arts, and the Ford Foundation.

He is the author of ten books of poetry and prose most recently the novel, Sapphire Dawn, a new and selected poems, Provence, and a memoir first published by W.W. Norton in 1989 entitled Marathon to critical acclaim (and re-issued through:

In 2008 he produced a 35 mm, 90-minute adaptation of Marathon ( which won Best Screenplay and Best Cinematography in the 2009 New York International Film Festival as well as the Bronze Palm at the 2010 Mexico International Film Festival. He is currently working with colleagues on a new film project, Comes Love, which is set in New York and Hollywood between the great wars.

He lives in West Palm Beach, Florida and Uncasville, Connecticut where his home, “Riverrun,” was added to the Connecticut Registry of Historic Places in 2007 and now serves as the William Center for the Arts.


Legacy: “Writing these poems is one of the ways in which Richard struggles to be reconciled to his loss, a series of elegiac lyrics which come together as a non-lineal narrative of their lives together and Richard’s life now, alone, and as a moving and often artless extended elegy.” Peter Klappert“These are hard poems. Honest poems that glimpse a life filled with humor, respect, camaraderie and love. Poems that realize their end.” Cheryl A Townsend-

Fourteen Women: “Fourteen Women is exciting, perceptive and extremely original: a brilliant act of the imagination.” Josephine Jacobsen

“It is good to see someone tackle the difficult but fascinating form of the dramatic monolog. Richard Harteis does so in this collection with imagination and with vigor. I commend him for it.” Linda Pastan

Morocco Journal: “Ebullient and direct, Richard Harteis has an intensely personal style. Substantial poems such as “Ramadan,” “The Wart Boy,” “The Blue People,” are no less alive than his tender, sometimes comic love poems. He is a refreshment to read.” May Swenson

“A dose of foreign culture can be risky for poet and patient alike. The good news is that Richard Harteis has come through Morocco shaken, but with flying colors.” James Merrill

Keeping Heart: I’m moved by your vision of your life together, outwitting loss, a litany of loss’ actually, standing up to time. I’m struck by the care of caretaking, the hospitals that hover around the background, the sustaining spirit. It’s good to see you keeping heart and becoming an air poet. Bravo.” Edward Hirsch

“The poems of Keeping Heart are not the kind that dip down into life for the illustration of generalities. They proceed instead on the plane of daily feelings and happenings, and are sensitive notes on a life the constants of which become familiar to the reader: writing, traveling, loving, getting older, jogging with the dog, seeing old acquaintances, watching over the health of a dear friend — also a poet — whose quoted lines about the moon initiate a motif that pervades the book. By the time one comes to the excellent poem ‘Gibbous,’ one is thoroughly in step with Harteis, and his thoughts on a nocturnal walk can be followed as if they were one’s own. A small poem about fireflies stresses the poet’s commitment to the here-and-now, by speaking of ‘the cosmic landing pad/ of my back yard;’ and another small one, ‘Nothing But in Things,’ shows what power and resonance such a poetics may beget. Sprinkled through the book are fine translations, poems of humor or anecdote (‘Jake the Snake,’ ‘Worth Avenue’) and a very good dramatic monologue (‘Gladys’). This is a varied, enjoyable, distinguished collection.” Richard Wilbur