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Wisconsin's Poet Laureate Advocates For Poetry For All, By All

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www.wisconsinacademy.org

Every two years, Wisconsin names a state poet laureate. For 2015-2016, the Poet Laureate Commission chose Kimberley Blaeser

In addition to being a working poet, Blaeseralso teaches creative writing, Native American literature, and American Nature Writing at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Blaeser is of Anishinaabe ancestry and she’s a native of White Earth Reservation in northwestern Minnesota. Her poetry is infused with the stories of her ancestry, her experience of nature and Native place and the longing for spiritual connection.

Blaeser is the author of three poetry collections and all have earned her national as well as international recognition. She joined Lake Effect's Bonnie North in the studio to share her poems, her goals for her time as poet laureate, and why poetry is so integral in her life.

"It helps you walk through your daily life and have someone else by your side who's been there too. Or, if you're writing poetry, it might help you figure out your experience," Blaeser said. "How do I deal with this? What do I think about this? What is it I'm longing for in my life? All these questions that we have, we can work through those in language. It doesn't have to be poetry that you're going to send out for publication, it can be for you."

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Kimberly Blaeser reads her poem, "Watercraft."

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Audrey is a producer, host and reporter for Lake Effect. She is involved with every aspect of the show — from conducting interviews, editing audio, posting web stories and mixing the show together.
Bonnie North
Bonnie joined WUWM in March 2006 as the Arts Producer of the locally produced weekday magazine program Lake Effect.