Literary Arts Institute Lectures

Kimberly Blaeser Reading

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The current poet laureate for Wisconsin returned to the College of Saint Benedict for a reading and residency Nov. 15-18.

Kimberly Blaeser, a 1977 graduate of CSB, held a reading free and open to the public at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 15, in the Teresa Reception Center Boardroom, Main Building, CSB.

Blaeser works as a professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where she teaches creative writing, Native American literature and American nature writing. She hails from Anishinaabe ancestry and is a native of the White Earth Reservation in northwestern Minnesota.

She is the author of three collections of poetry: "Apprenticed to Justice" (2007), "Absentee Indians and Other Poems" (2002) and "Trailing You" (1994). Blaeser has also edited two other books on Anishinaabe and Ojibwe poetry.

Her current creative project features "Picto-Poems," and brings Blaeser's poetry together with her wildlife photography to explore intersecting ideas about Native place, nature, preservation and spiritual sustenance.

Blaeser's poetry dwells deeply on a complex, natural world - which includes the power of human imagination. "These poems are small sure lights in the darkness - poems to lead us home," said poet and musician Joy Harjo of "Absentee Indians and Other Poems."

Blaeser sees her position as poet laureate of Wisconsin as a gift that needs to be shared to the public.

"Sometime in the history of this country, poetry got a bad rap," she said. "Those who love poetry, but especially those who read or pen poetry in private, need permission and encouragement to be the shining poetry nerds they may long to be!"

She will be residency from Nov. 15-18, visiting classes and working with students from CSB and Saint John's University.

Both events are presented in collaboration with the CSB Literary Arts Institute (LAI) and the Fine Arts Series at CSB and SJU.

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