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 Kirsten Dierking.
Short bio: I’m the author of three books of poetry: Tether, Northern Oracle and One Red Eye. My poems have frequently been read on the radio program The Writer’s Almanac, and in 2015 I appeared as a guest on NPR’s A Prairie Home Companion.
Thoughts on mindfulness and poetry: It wasn’t until I started writing poetry in a serious way that I began to be really observant in the world. In the same way that each word is important in a poem, each small thing I experienced started to have its own vital significance—a pristine snow drift, a bird feather, the sound of a wave lapping a boat. The more I wrote, the more I loved walking—even a short, uneventful walk through my neighborhood became filled with a hundred interesting things I wanted to explore in my poems. It’s a sort of symbiotic relationship—writing poetry makes me pay attention to detail, but carefully attending to those small details out in the world makes me want to write.
A favorite quote: I’ll go with [Charles] Darwin. You can feel his intense love of nature in these last lines of Origin of Species: “whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.”
Fun fact: I’m a bit of a Trekkie.