Dr. Michael Heyman

  • Children’s Literature


  • Franklin & Marshall College (BA '92)
  • University of Oxford, University College (MPhil '95)
  • University of Glasgow (PhD '99)

About Me

Michael Heyman is a scholar and writer of literary nonsense and children’s literature. In addition to teaching graduate courses at Simmons, he is a Professor of Literature at Berklee College of Music, where he also teaches children's literature of various flavors, along with courses in children's music, poetry, and performance poetry.

What I Teach

Heyman teaches courses on children’s literature, poetry, nonsense literature, and arthropodiatry.

Research/Creative Activities

Dr. Heyman's work revolves around nonsense literature, poetry, and music, in the Western tradition and beyond. His book The Tenth Rasa: An Anthology of Indian Nonsense was the first attempt at a comprehensive translation of nonsense literature within India. He has written on Edward Lear, Lewis Carroll, Anushka Ravishankar, John Hoskyns, Edward Gorey, and Carl Sandburg, among others. He also has published poems, songs, and stories for children, and he can sometimes be found flailing in front of child audiences.


His articles have appeared in the ChLA Quarterly, The Five Owls, The Horn Book Magazine, Words Without Borders, and The Lion and the Unicorn, where he was also a four-time judge for the Lion and the Unicorn Award for Excellence in North American Poetry. He is the head editor of The Tenth Rasa: An Anthology of Indian Nonsense (Penguin 2007). His poems and stories for children can be found in The Puffin Book of Bedtime Stories (2005), The Moustache Maharishi and Other Unlikely Stories (Scholastic 2007), and This Book Makes No Sense: Nonsense Poems and Worse (Scholastic 2012), the latter of which he also edited. He was a guest editor for the nonsense literature issue of IBBY’s Bookbird (2016), and he has contributed chapters to various edited volumes on children's literature, music, and poetry.

Professional Affiliations & Memberships

  • Children's Literature Association, International Research Society for Children's Literature