Grant Hier was the first Poet Laureate of Anaheim, California from 2018-2020. Honors include Prize Americana, the Kick Prize, and the Courage Award. Books include Untended Garden, The Difference Between, and Similitude. A new book of poetry and instruction titled Practice: 394 Poems in 365 Days, is forthcoming. California Continuum Vol. One is a book of historical flash fiction he co-wrote with John Brantingham, the Poet Laureate of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. He has been published in literary journals internationally, most recently in the current issue of So It Goes—The Literary Journal of the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library. His poetry is anthologized in such books as Orange County: A Literary Field Guide (Heyday), Only Light Can Do That (Rattling Wall/PEN Center USA), Monster Verse — Human and Inhuman Poems (Knopf/Everyman), Anthology of Poetry (Picture Show Press), and the Poems Illuminating Faith Anthology (New York Quarterly). His fiction appears in LA Fiction Anthology: Southland Stories by Southland Writers (Red Hen Press) and Flash Fiction Journal — Two. His essays and reviews have been widely published as well, including in The Review of Contemporary Fiction, Jeffers Studies, Explorations in English Studies, Teaching Composition with Literature, and the book John Fante: A Critical Gathering. Grant has been entered for three Grammy Awards: as a writer for “Best Album Notes” (for the last two Los Lobos albums, Llegó Navidad and Native Sons) and as a Producer for “Best Folk Album” (for Joyride: Friends Take the Wheel). He recently wrote the liner notes to a forthcoming, special edition 5-LP box set (WAR—The Vinyl: 1971-1975.) As a voice actor he contributed to the audio book of George Saunders' Lincoln in the Bardo, which won the 2018 Audie Award for Audiobook of the year. Grant is a Full Professor at LCAD, and poetry editor for Chiron Review. More at

The Difference Between the Song Within the Bird and What is Heard

Whatever the thrush was thinking before
she opened her throat to sing. What was felt
in her drumming breast during flight.
The echoes that pulsed
through her hollow bones
at rest. (These are what
I seek to know.)

The long stare and the clever words before
we open up. Notes shared to bring wellness
and strength for the coming test of
night. Who knows what else
might follow us home.
The rest we seek. (What
we cease to know.)

Published in The Difference Between (Pelekinesis 2018)

Unforeseen Consequences

The jagged line
of the crack in the pot,
once repaired, became
the strongest spot.

The hungry one
got hungrier, but
by knowing that pain,
became more giving.

Where the bag was torn
the seeds escaped. Now
flowers line the path
where the poor man walked.

Published in Similitude (Pelekinesis 2018)

Across the Town

Bell splashes awake.
Waves pulse the sky to vibrate
all flesh near, each leaf
hung—the tone, transposed, hums now
within, drives both sap and blood.

Traffic floods the roads
before work, at noon, at five.
Cars take turns merging,
regardless of each drivers’
religion or politics.

The waitress takes home
the newspaper left behind
in the booth. Kicks off
her shoes that night. Feels the toll.
Solves the puzzle. Curls her hair.

Mourning doves rest like
notes on the same power line
the scavenger rat
ran all last night. Lights change. We
find a way to share this world.

Published in Similitude (Pelekinesis 2018)


Grant Hier



© 2021 Grant Hier


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