Professor Kimberly Blaeser was recently recognized by the Native Writers’ Circle of the Americas with the 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award.
“Receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award is both humbling and heartening,” Blaeser said. “Thinking about my own role models who previously received this recognition and knowing I was selected by my fellow Native writers gives the recognition special significance.”
Established in 1991, the Native Writers’ Circle of the Americas is an organization of Native American writers, based at the University of Oklahoma. Awards for First Book of Poetry, First Book of Prose and Lifetime Achievement are given out annually by the group.
A faculty member of the UWM English Department and American Indian Studies Program, Blaeser specializes in poetry and creative nonfiction writing. An award-winning poet, Blaeser has published eight books including five poetry collections as well as short stories, creative nonfiction, and scholarship. Her plays have been performed in both the U.S. and Canada and her poetry translated into multiple languages.
The Native Writers’ Circle of the Americas will hold an award ceremony for Blaeser and the 2020 award recipient once pandemic health guidelines allow them to do so safely.
“I am somewhat emboldened to continue to push my writing, but also to move forward projects like In-Na-Po, Indigenous Nations Poets, a national organization I founded in 2020 whose mission is partly to mentor younger Indigenous poets,” Blaeser added. “So, writing and service — continuing the same path I have been following, but with a greater sense of urgency and satisfaction.”