White woman in dark blue laced cardigan smiling in front of trees

Poet, photographer, scholar, and fiction writer Kimberly Blaeser is an enrolled member of the White Earth Nation and grew up on the reservation in northwestern Minnesota. Blaeser worked as a journalist before earning her PhD from the University of Notre Dame. She is currently a Professor at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, an MFA faculty member at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, and founding director of In-Na-Po (Indigenous Nations Poets).
 
Blaeser’s poems embody her work as a naturalist, offer intimate glimpses into the lives of Native American life and culture, and exhibit a political activism that extends to current issues both tribal and global. She writes in hybrid forms that vary from extended narrative to haiku poems to concrete poetry and her work incorporates the Anishinaabe language. Her collections of poetry include Résister en dansant/Ikwe-niimi: Dancing Resistance (2020), Copper Yearning (2019), winner of the Edna Meudt Poetry Book Award, Apprenticed to Justice (2007), Absentee Indians and Other Poems (2002), and Trailing You (1994), which won the Native Writers’ Circle of the Americas First Book Award. She is also the author of a critical study on fellow White Earth writer Gerald Vizenor, titled Gerald Vizenor: Writing in the Oral Tradition (1996).
 
Blaeser edited the anthologies Traces in Blood, Bone & Stone: Contemporary Ojibwe Poetry (2006), and Stories Migrating Home: A Collection of Anishinaabe Prose (1999), and served as a contributing editor for When the Light of the World Was Subdued, Our Songs Came Through: A Norton Anthology of Native Nations Poetry (2020). Her writing appears in numerous anthologies including: Living Nations, Living Words (2021 edited by Joy Harjo), Geo-Poetics in Practice (2020, edited by Eric Magrane, Craig Santos Perez, Linda Russo, and Sarah de Leeuw), Ghost Fishing: An Eco-Justice Poetry Anthology (2018, edited by Melissa Tuckey), and Undocumented: Great Lakes Poet Laureates on Social Justice (2019, edited by Ron Riekki and Andrea Scarpino).

 

Blaeser, who is a past Wisconsin Poet Laureate, has been recognized with various awards including a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Native Writers’ Circle of the Americas (2021), Notable Authors Award from the Wisconsin Library Association (2021), Wisconsin Academy Fellow Award (2020), Zona Gale Short Fiction Award (2020), Individual Artist Fellowship in Poetry from the Wisconsin Arts Board (2001). She has served on the editorial boards of Michigan State University’s American Indian Studies Series and the University of Nebraska Press’s Indian Lives Series.
 
Blaeser’s photographs, picto-poems, and ekphrastic pieces have appeared in exhibits such as “Ancient Light,” “Visualizing Sovereignty,” and “Nomorestolensisters.” She lives in rural Wisconsin; and, for portions of each year, in a water-access cabin near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in Minnesota.