Poet, writer, and animal trainer Vicki Hearne was born in Austin, Texas, and grew up there and in Louisiana and Mississippi. She earned a BA at the University of California-Riverside.
Hearne is the author of the poetry collections Nervous Horses (1980), In the Absence of Horses (1983), and The Parts of Light (1994), as well as the posthumous Tricks of the Light: New and Selected Poems (2007, edited by poet John Hollander). Informed by Western philosophy as well as her extensive work with animals, Hearne’s work strives to capture the interplay between human and animal consciousness. As a reviewer for Publishers Weekly noted of The Parts of Light, “Her style, smooth in some places, choppy in others, reflects both the wholeness of animal presence and the jarring, fragmentary nature of human reason and reflection.”
Hearne’s prose on animal intelligence and communication includes Adam’s Task: Calling Animals by Name (1986), Animal Happiness (1995), and Bandit: Dossier of a Dangerous Dog (2002). Hearne taught at Yale University and ran trainings for animal owners and their pets at Silver Trails: The Animal Inn.
Hearne died in Westbrook, Connecticut, in 2001. The Beinecke Library at Yale University holds a selection of her papers.