new zealand electronic poetry centre


Tapa Notebooks


Notebook - cover Notebook p33-34 Notebook p43-44 Notebook p47-48 Notebook p51-52
Notebook p111-112 Notebook p117-118 Notebook p119-120 Notebook p123-124 Notebook p127-128

Lesley Wheeler bio:

Lesley Wheeler is a U.S. poet and professor born in New York, raised in New Jersey, and residing in Virginia since 1994.
Her books include The Receptionist and Other Tales (Aqueduct, 2012); Heterotopia (Barrow Street, 2010), Heathen (C&R, 2009); Voicing American Poetry: Sound and Performance from the 1920's to the Present(Cornell, 2008); The Poetics of Enclosure: American Women Poets from Dickinson to Dove (Tennessee, 2002); and the chapbook Scholarship Girl (Finishing Line, 2007). With Moira Richards, Rosemary Starace, and other members of a dedicated collective, she co-edited Letters to the World: Poems from the Wom-po Listserv (Red Hen, 2008).

Now the Henry S. Fox Professor of English at Washington and Lee University, Lesley Wheeler has held fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Virginia Commission for the Arts, and the American Association of University Women. In 2011, as a Fulbright Senior Scholar, she conducted research on poetry and community at Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand. She has recently co-edited a portfolio of poems from Aotearoa for the online magazine Shenandoah (62.2, February 2013). 
Wheeler’s current book projects are a poetry collection with the working title Signal to Noise and Poetry’s Possible Worlds, a critical investigation of place, community, and lyric world-building. She blogs at

Lesley Wheeler writes:

Michele Leggott presented me with this notebook when I visited Auckland in May, 2011, and from then until November I used it to draft poems, note down addresses and recipes, and record my reactions to readings and lectures. It traveled around the North Island and then to various U.S. locations: Hawai’i, Virginia, Texas, and New York. You can also read the book from the back page inwards: I asked every poet I met during that period (some of them quite famous, others just starting out) to jot down the first line or two of poetry that came to mind.

I copied the personal pages before returning it to nzepc and now, in January 2013 (very cold weather in Virginia), I just read through them again. I’m surprised at how many poems began there because I think of myself as drafting mainly by computer. A couple, having mutated wildly in the interim, will be published shortly in the American magazines Poet Lore and SubTropics, while others are currently fermenting in magazine submission piles.


Lesley Wheeler Leslie Wheeler
        Credit: Peter Davidson. Lesley Wheeler and her daughter in the Wellington Botanic Gardens,
2011. Credit: Chris Gavaler.


Last updated 11 March, 2013