Poet and historian Jennifer Michael Hecht earned a BA in history from Adelphi University and a PhD in the history of science from Columbia University. Her collections of poetry include the highly praised The Next Ancient World (2001), which won the Tupelo Press Judge’s Prize in Poetry, the Poetry Society of America’s Norma Farber First Book Award, and ForeWord Review’s Poetry Book of the Year Award; Funny (2005), winner of the Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry; and Who Said(2013).
Known for her wit and erudition, Hecht’s poetry frequently draws on her work as an intellectual historian. The Next Ancient World mixes contemporary and ancient world views, histories, myths, and ideas, and Funny explores the implications of the human love of humor and jokes. Hecht’s prose has also been widely praised for the breadth of its scholarship. Her books include Doubt: A History (2003); The End of the Soul: Scientific Modernity, Atheism, and Anthropology in France (2003), which won the prestigious Ralph Waldo Emerson Award from the Phi Beta Kappa Society; and The Happiness Myth: The Historical Antidote to What Isn’t Working Today (2008).

Hecht teaches at The New School and lives in Brooklyn with her husband and children.


Jennifer Michael Hecht Poems

Love Explained

Guy calls the doctor, says the wife's
contractions are five minutes apart.
Doctor says, Is this her first child?
guy says, No, it's her husband.... more »


We speak of rebellion when the kid
is a hellion and the folks are as mild
as a spoon.... more »

Steady, Steady

I believe you can build a boat.
I believe you can get to water.
I do not believe you can get the boat on water.... more »

Jennifer Michael Hecht Quotes

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