Kimberly Blaeser is a poet, photographer, and scholar. A former Wisconsin Poet Laureate from 2015–2016, Blaeser is currently a Professor of English and Indigenous Studies at UW—Milwaukee and an MFA faculty member for the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe.
Of Anishinaabe ancestry and a native of White Earth Reservation in northwestern Minnesota, Blaeser crafts poems that dwell deeply on a complex, natural world—which includes the power of human imagination. She is author of four poetry collections, most recently Copper Yearning (Holy Cow! Press, 2019) and Apprenticed to Justice (Salt Publishing, 2007), and served as editor of the anthology Traces in Blood, Bone, and Stone: Contemporary Ojibwe Poetry (Loonfeather Press, 2006). Her work is widely anthologized, and has been translated into several languages, including Spanish, Norwegian, Indonesian, and Anishinaabemowin. Blaeser has performed her poetry around the globe, having given readings of creative work at over two hundred different venues in a dozen different countries, including performances at the Borobudur Temple in Indonesia and in a Fire-Ceremony at the Borderlands Museum Grounds in arctic Norway.
Blaeser is active in service to literature, the arts, and social justice. She currently serves on the boards of the Wisconsin Academy and Aldo Leopold Foundation, and on the editorial board for the American Indian Lives series of the University of Nebraska Press, and for the Native American Series of Michigan State University Press. She has served on the advisory board for the Sequoyah Research Center and Native American Press Archives, on the Poetry Fellowship Panel for the National Endowment of the Arts, and has been a member of the Native American Alumni Board for the University of Notre Dame. Blaeser initiated the Milwaukee Native American Literary Cooperative, which helped to bring 75 Native American writers to Milwaukee for the 20th Anniversary Returning the Gift Festival of Native Writers and Storytellers in 2012 and continues to sponsor events each year.
Video provided courtesy of the UWM Media Team.