This is part of a series highlighting some of the poets anthologized in Poetry of Presence. We thank the poets for providing the material. Today we shine the spotlight on Kimberly Blaeser.
Short bio: Writer, photographer, and scholar, I’m the author of three poetry collections—most recently Apprenticed to Justice; and editor of Traces in Blood, Bone, and Stone: Contemporary Ojibwe Poetry. I’m a professor of Creative Writing and Native American Literature at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and also serve on faculty for the Institute of American Indian Arts low rez MFA. I was Wisconsin Poet Laureate for 2015-16. An enrolled member of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, I grew up on White Earth Reservation.
Fun fact: My current project is an evolving collection called Ancient Light, which includes ekphrastic poetry, photography, and a form for which I coined the term picto-poems—intersecting layers of text and image inspired by Native American pictographs and ledger art. The pieces bring my nature and wildlife photography together with poetry to explore intersecting ideas of Native place, nature, preservation, and spiritual sustenance. It is my hope that these images will invite reorientation as they blur the lines between place and spirit, between image and voice and being. Here is one sample from that collection.
Website and social media:
Videos: Enjoy the videos below. On the Wisconsin Poet Laureate Facebook page you can also hear me read my poem “Manoominike-Giizis.”