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Kimberly Blaeser (C21 Fellow)

Oct 17, 2015 @ 4:00 pm

Gesture and Silence in Poetry of Place

A poetry reading and talk, with book signing

Wisconsin’s Poet Laureate, Kimberly Blaeser, a C21 Fellow for 2015-16, will be reading some of her current poetry and giving a talk on “Gesture and Silence in Poetry of Place” at the Jones Gallery in Fort Atkinson’s Dwight Foster Public Library. The talk will address the poetics of place and the complex harmonies between the vibrant natural world and the resonant human imagination.

At the same time, the Jones Gallery is exhibiting a collection of Blaeser’s visual artwork, “Ancient Light: Picto-Poems, Photographs, and Ekphrastic Poetry,” available for viewing through October 31.

Blaeser’s reading and talk also mark the final event in the Lorine Niedecker Wisconsin Poetry Festival.

Ancient Light flyer (PDF)

What do Native American poet/artist Kimberly Blaeser and Fort Atkinson’s own Lorine Niedecker have in common?

Born a half-century apart, both poets draw upon a deep connection with nature, exploring subconscious content of dream, the expression of overlapping auditory and visual images, and the fullness of space and silence.

In Kimberly Blaeser’s work, the allusive quality of images parallels the dynamics of Anishinaabe dream songs in which the song/poem itself is meant to “disappear” into an imaginative or spiritual experience beyond words. “Working from within this aesthetic, I too try to create pathways or invite a moment of transcendence or enlightenment similar to that I may have experienced myself in the circumstances that gave rise to the photo or poem.”

“The image, Dreams of Water Bodies, for example, embodies movement, perhaps even mythic or ancient journey. This feeling arises from elements of visual correspondence—the similarities of line and color that insinuate an overlapping of being. The vibration of the water ripples appears so like the markings on the cliff wall, which in turn appear like the branching of the tree. The determined forward motion of the beaver, the illusion of an ‘entrance’ at the wall of the cliff, and the reflective repetition in the water world that mirrors the cliff all add to the suggestion of dream happening, create a sense of the surreal or mysterious.”

“Both poetry and photography can ask us to first look at something and then to look through it. The ultimate intention, of course, is to apprentice us to a way of being in the world. The Anishinaabe way of being involves a foundational understanding of community with nature. My photographs and picto-poems arise from this understanding. They invite the viewer/reader to imagine themselves in such a space.”
Seventh Annual Lorine Niedecker Wisconsin Poetry Festival

Wisconsin poets and poetry lovers will have many opportunities to share the legacy of internationally acclaimed Fort Atkinson poet Lorine Niedecker during the seventh annual Lorine Niedecker Wisconsin Poetry Festival. Starting with poetry readings at the Café Carpe on Friday evening October 16, the festival will continue on Saturday with morning events at the Farmer’s Market, followed by a full day of presentations, discussion and socializing in the library.

All events are free and open to the public. For more information, a full schedule of events and list of presenters, please visit www.lorineniedecker.org/festival.cfm.


Oct 17, 2015
4:00 pm
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Jones Gallery, Dwight Foster Public Library
209 Merchants Ave
Fort Atkinson, WI 53538 United States
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