Heather Kirn Lanier is an essayist, memoirist, and poet. She's the author of Teaching in the Terrordome: Two Years in West Baltimore with Teach For America and two award-winning poetry books, Heart-Shaped Bed in Hiroshima and The Story You Tell Yourself, winner of the Wick Poetry Open Chapbook Competition. She has received a Rona Jaffe - Bread Loaf Scholarship, an Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award, and a Vermont Creation Grant. Her work has been noted in The Best American Essays Series and The Pushcart Anthology Series. She has published poems and essays in dozens of places, including Salon, The Sun, Vela Magazine, Utne Reader Online, The Southern Review, The Threepenny Review, andFourth Genre. She is now Assistant Professor of Creative Nonfiction at Rowan University.
Heather Lanier's Raising a Rare Girl is that rare soaring book: a gripping read that delivers spiritual reflection and serious cultural analysis on disability and parenthood. These sentences are sheer poetry, and in the service of dissecting the ableism in our culture, they are also piercing and necessary. - author of Pain Woman Takes Your Keys and Other Essays from a Nervous SystemRaising a Rare Girl is not just a memoir about Heather Lanier's first few years as a mother, nor is it only about the challenges of raising a child with a rare syndrome in a world that does not welcome differences. It's a tender and powerful book that asks us to look honestly at what we expect of our children, each other, and ourselves, and explores the unexpected joy that comes when we release those expectations. Lanier had no choice but to let go of her expectations of motherhood, herself, and her baby when Fiona came into this world, and we are the lucky recipients of the loving wisdom she gained in doing so. - author of On Living