Wisconsin Poet Laureate              2015-16

Wisconsin Poet Laureate

Poet, critic, essayist, playwright, and fiction writer, Kimberly Blaeser, is a Professor at University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee and the current Wisconsin Poet Laureate.  At UW-Milwaukee, she teaches Creative Writing, Native American Literature, and American Nature Writing. Her publications include three books of poetry: Trailing You, winner of the first book award from the Native Writers’ Circle of the Americas, Absentee Indians and Other Poems, and Apprenticed to Justice. Her scholarly study, Gerald Vizenor: Writing in the Oral Tradition, was the first native-authored book-length study of an Indigenous author. Of Anishinaabe ancestry and an enrolled member of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, Blaeser grew up on the White Earth Reservation in northwestern Minnesota and worked as a journalist before earning her M. A. and Ph.D. from the University of Notre Dame. Blaeser is also the editor of Stories Migrating Home: A Collection of Anishinaabe Prose and Traces in Blood, Bone, and Stone: Contemporary Ojibwe Poetry. Blaeser’s own poetry, short fiction, and personal essays have been widely anthologized most recently in The Heath Anthology of American Literature. Her poetry has been translated into several languages including Spanish, Norwegian, Indonesian, and French.

Kim lives with her husband and children, Gavin and Amber, in the woods and wetlands of rural Lyons Township Wisconsin. When she isn’t busy transporting Amber to her sports events, Blaeser’s other interests include wilderness expeditions and wildlife and nature photography. To feed these passions she spends part of every year in a remote cabin adjacent to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in northeastern Minnesota. Her current creative project features “Picto-Poems” and brings her nature and wildlife photography together with poetry to explore intersecting ideas about Native place, nature, preservation, and spiritual sustenance.