Excerpts from Reviews on Kim

“Blaeser… writes as though half-suspicious of the possibilities promised by English, the false trails and prevarications concealed under the veneer of American usage. This is writing that remains cognizant of the continued colonization of the continent by other means… Perhaps as a strategy to circumvent the evasions of English, the poet has attuned her ear as much to the rhythms of nature as language. These are poems of landscape; place and creature precisely observed… She is also alert to the impress of the world on the human, its quick appearance in the quotidian. This is poetry that points to those moments that linger stubbornly outside the sometimes acquisitive power of language.”
— Kevin Ducey, Notre Dame Review on Absentee Indians

apprenticed-justice-blaeserComments on Apprenticed to Justice excerpted from review by Tom Gannon in Prairie Schooner.

“I turn… to Blaeser’s many brilliant naturist efforts in the poetry here… Her point is that the lives and languages of other species transcend human hubris… Through… moments of uncanny epiphany that Blaeser’s new collection of poems, Apprenticed to Justice, offers the reader a marvelous apprenticeship in itself… The reader is ‘‘apprenticed’’ into considerations of the possible erasure of our cognitive distinctions between vital life and ‘‘dead’’ matter, between the animate and inanimate.”

AND:

“Like her Anishinaabe compatriot, Gerald Vizenor (whose work she has written on), Blaeser finds in the haiku form an apt model for her northwoods Native oral tradition.”

 

“Polished with the language of compassion, the craftsmanship of knowing how to tell or listen to stories about life, and a gift for image, these poems of Blaeser’s ‘cut the strings of reluctance / that hold stories back.’ celebrating the woven story paths which she traverses.”
— Kirsten Hemmy, The Cream City Review on Absentee Indians

“A piece of lyric beauty, “The Last Fish House,” sets it metaphoric lines in the icy waters where the ritual past merges with the present.”
— Philip Heldrich, American Culture and Research Journal

“These poems are small sure lights in the darkness—poems to lead us home. Kim Blaeser is exacting and precise. Her compassionate vision is the light.”
— Joy Harjo, on Absentee Indians

“Over and over, Blaeser’s poetry explicitily and implicitly indicates that words and voices connect Native people to place and to each other… [It] touches the nature of White Earth and the Anishinaabe worldview… It is language well and appropriately used that enables Blaeser to ‘ward off’ both the damning identity conferred by the dominant culture and homesickness… The language and rhythm of [her] poems counter both the ignorance that keeps the figure of the indian in place and the disorder and dis-ease that comes of that representation.”
— Chris LaLonde,“ Place, Displacement, and a Pathway Home in Kimberly Blaeser’s Poetry”

“The poems in Apprenticed to Justice are a sublime combinaton of literary indulgences echoing booted feet on still frozen ground, turtle rattles, a flushing of cranes, or antler dangles near ears. Sweet maple sap and hazelnut eyes. Gelatin tadpoles and bullrush psalms. These poems bring the snowblind tumbling into dimension. Northern lights and doppelgangers. Excrement and cleansing. They warm valleys with buttercups; recite names invoking reason. They shoot meaning into madness with the subtle elegance of Anishinaabe style. Kim Blaeser is a knock-out poet, bringing boxers to steal hearts, floured fists to punch dough, and a serious sense of familial White Earth beauty, hunger, and humility that’s impossible to put down. Voles scuttle where crooked knuckles clench our very souls. This is an impressive and accomplished collection of poetic delivery we can truly feast upon. A necessary full copper voice. A balance in the tilt of the world.”
— Allison Hedge Coke on Apprenticed to Justice

“This is a gorgeous book. It’s musical and strange. I have already spent much time with Kim Blaeser’s new poems and I will keep reading them in the years to come.”
— Sherman Alexie on Apprenticed to Justice