Hearne, Vicki, 1946-2001

Alternative names
Dates:
Birth 1946
Death 2001-08-21

Biographical notes:

Victoria Elizabeth Hearne was born in Austin, Texas, on February 13, 1946, and grew up in a military family in Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi. Having written poetry since her childhood, she studied writing and received a B.A. in English from the University of California, Riverside, in 1969. Hearne's published collections of poetry include Nervous Horses (1980), In the Absence of Horses (1983) and The Parts of Light (1994). She taught creative writing at the University of California at Riverside from 1980 to 1984. From 1984 to 1986, she was an assistant professor of English at Yale, and she was a visiting fellow at the Institution for Social and Policy Studies at Yale from 1989 to 1995. She published several non-fiction books and numerous articles on animals and animal behavior, as well as a novel, The White German Shepherd. Hearne was also a trainer of dogs and horses throughout her life, and was an advocate for breeds of dogs labeled by legal authorities as dangerous. Vicki Hearne and her first husband were the parents of a daughter, Colleen Lerman. Hearne married Robert Tragesser, a professor of philosophy, in 1983. She died of lung cancer in Branford, Connecticut on August 21, 2001.

From the description of Vicki Hearne papers, 1920-2005 (bulk 1976-2001). (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 702181911

Victoria Elizabeth Hearne was born in Austin, Texas, on February 13, 1946, and grew up in a military family in Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi. Hearne began her dog and horse training career in California in 1967, after learning she had a talent for the work when she trained her own dog under the mentorship of Hollywood animal trainers Bill and Dick Koehler. She continued to work with animals throughout her life. Having written poetry since her childhood, she studied writing and received a B.A. in English from the University of California, Riverside, in 1969. Hearne's published collections of poetry include Nervous Horses (1980), In the Absence of Horses (1983) and The Parts of Light (1994). Individual poems written by Hearne were published in magazines and journals including The New Republic, The Partisan Review, and Poetry . She was a Stegner Fellow in Poetry at Stanford University, and received a writing grant from the Ingram Merrill Foundation. In 1984, she was given the Peter I . B. Lavan Younger Poets Award from the Academy of American Poets. She taught creative writing at the University of California at Riverside from 1980 to 1984. From 1984 to 1986, she was an assistant professor of English at Yale, and she was a visiting fellow at the Institution for Social and Policy Studies at Yale from 1989 to 1995. Following her move to the Northeast, Hearne continued to train dogs at Silver Trails: The Animal Inn in Westbrook, Connecticut. Vicki Hearne and her first husband (from whom she was divorced in 1970) were the parents of a daughter, Colleen Lerman. Hearne married Robert Tragesser, a professor of philosophy, in 1983. She died of lung cancer in Branford, Connecticut on August 21, 2001.

Hearne's writing was informed by her work with dogs and horses and the philosophies of Plato, Nietzsche, and Wittgenstein, among others. She addressed issues of animal behavior and the ways in which animals communicate with humans in her books of nonfiction and in magazine and journal articles. She authored Adam's Task: Calling Animals by Name and Animal Happiness, and co-authored the book Horse Breaking: The Obedience Method with Bill Forest. Her articles "Talking With Dogs, Chimps and Others," and "How to Say Fetch," were published in Raritan in the early 1980s. She was published in American magazines including The Atlantic Monthly, Harper's, and The New Yorker, and in foreign publications including the Japanese edition of Esquire Magazine .

An ardent defender of breeds of dogs labeled by legal authorities as innately dangerous, Hearne served as an expert witness on dog behavior beginning in the 1980s. Her experiences while defending a dog (mistakenly identified as a pit bull) that had been sentenced to death for his biting offences in Stamford, Connecticut, were the subject of her book, Bandit: Dossier of a Dangerous Dog . After being granted custody of the dog for three months Hearne rehabilitated Bandit and was given permanent guardianship of the animal. She appeared in various media, gained an international following, and wrote numerous articles in which she spoke against city ordinances that banned particular breeds of dogs. The events surrounding the Bandit case were also chronicled in a documentary film, A Little Vicious, which was nominated for an Academy Award in 1992.

From the guide to the Vicki Hearne papers, 1920-2005, 1976-2001, (Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University)

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http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w60p1k1k
Ark ID:
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SNAC ID:
15084237

Subjects:

  • Animal rights activists--Archives
  • Animalrights activists--United States--Archives
  • Authors, American--20th century--Archives
  • Poets, American--20th century--Archives
  • Dogs--Behavior
  • Horses--Training
  • Animal trainers--United States--Archives
  • Animal trainers--Archives

Occupations:

not available for this record

Places:

  • United States (as recorded)