ABOUT HEArt Journal


Building an international community of citizens who believe in art as a vehicle for social reform through publication of HEArt Online and promoting the role of artists as human rights activists.


Artists have long assumed leading roles in speaking out against human rights abuses and agitating for reforms. Playwright Vaclav Havel was imprisoned for defending human rights only nine months before he was elected President of Czechoslovakia. Novelist Alexander Solzhenitsyn accepted exile rather than stop writing the dark history of the Soviet Union. U.S. writers in this tradition are many: Harriet Beecher Stowe, Ralph Ellison, James Baldwin, Sapphire, Adrienne Rich, Martín Espada and Suheir Hammad, to name just a few. In every community, artists consistently lend their voices and time to addressing social justice issues. By practicing their craft within a larger social context, they reach an audience defined not merely by aesthetic appreciation or academic achievement, but by concern for the quality of life in their communities. To nurture their work is to sustain their villages.


From 1997-2002, HEArt published and distributed 15 print issues of its quarterly magazine. Known as HEArt Quarterly until 2000 and HEArt thereafter, it featured poetry, fiction, essay, review, and visual art probing aspects of racial, sexual, gender, and class discrimination. Today we also actively seek work addressing disabilities. Contributors included Kim Addonizio, Martin Amis, Amiri Baraka, Jan Beatty, Dennis Brutus, Martín Espada, Nikki Giovanni, Marilyn Hacker, Linda McCarriston, Sonia Sanchez, Sapphire, Sekou Sundiata and Stacey Waite. HEArt also mounted a reading series in Pittsburgh featuring Tim Seibles, Allison Joseph, Timothy Liu, Sapphire and Sonia Sanchez.

In 2013, HEArt relaunched as HEArt Online coupled with a 2013-14 Pittsburgh reading series that featured Terrance Hayes & Saeed Jones, Tim Seibles, Vanessa German and Martín Espada.

In 2017, HEArt Online is transitioning to a journal with wider reach and more focused editorial departments. Joing the editorial staff are Casey Rocheteau as Managing Editor and General Poetry & Fiction Editor; Shira Erlichman as Literature & Arts Editor for Mental Health submissions; Cameron Awkward-Rich as Literature & Arts Editor for Queer/Trans submissions; Marlin M. Jenkins Literature & Arts Editor of "Let Me Love Me" submissions; and Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib as Music Editor, curating submissions writing about music in the social justice realm. 

Our goal remains to publish the finest contemporary art & literature that actively fights discrimination and promotes social justice.

HEArt Editorial Team

Photo of Casey Rocheteau by Ian Brown, 2015

Photo of Casey Rocheteau by Ian Brown, 2015

MANAGING EDITOR, general poetry & fiction editor

Casey Rocheteau was the recipient of the inaugural Write A House permanent residency in Detroit in September, 2014. They have attended Callaloo Writer’s Workshop, Cave Canem, and Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference in Sicily. Their first collection of poetry, Knocked Up On Yes, was released on Sargent Press in 2012. Their second collection of poetry, The Dozen, was published on Sibling Rivalry Press in 2016.

Contact Casey at Casey Rocheteau

Photo of Cameron Awkward-Rich

Photo of Cameron Awkward-Rich

Cameron Awkward-Rich,

Cameron Awkward-Rich is the author of Sympathetic Little Monster (Ricochet Editions, 2016) and the chapbook Transit (Button Poetry, 2015). A Cave Canem fellow and poetry editor for Muzzle Magazine, Cam is currently a doctoral candidate in Modern Thought & Literature at Stanford University. Find him here.

Contact Cameron at Cameron Awkward-Rich


Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib
editor, writing & music

Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib is a poet and cultural critic from Columbus, Ohio. He is a columnist at MTV News, and his first full-length collection of poetry, The Crown Ain't Worth Much, was released by Button Poetry in 2016.




Casey Rocheteau         President
Curtis Crisler                 Former HEArt Poetry Editor & Outside Director
Ocean Vuong                Outside Director

Photo of Shira Erlichman by Bao Ngo

Photo of Shira Erlichman by
Bao Ngo

Shira Erlichman, editor, mental health poetry

Shira Erlichman is a poet, musician and visual artist. A three time Pushcart Prize nominee, her work can be found in The Huffington Post, Buzzfeed Reader, PBS Poetry, The Massachusetts Review, BUST, Bitch and The Baffler, among others. She was awarded a residency by the Millay Colony, the James Merrill Fellowship by the Vermont Studio Center and the Visions of Wellbeing Focus Fellowship at AIR Serenbe. An Israeli immigrant raised in Massachusetts, she now lives in Brooklyn with her partner and their orange cat. Learn more here.

Contact Shira at Shira Erlichman

Photo of Marlin M. Jenkins

Photo of Marlin M. Jenkins

marlin M. jenkins

Marlin M. Jenkins was born and raised in Detroit. A graduate of University of Michigan's MFA program, his work has been given homes by The Collagist, The Offing, The Journal and Bennington Review, among others. He has worked with students in Detroit Public Schools through the Inside Out Literary Arts program and received a fellowship from the Vermont Studio Center. He is also a runner and a dancer.