A UW-Milwaukee English professor of Anishinaabe ancestry has been named Wisconsin's new poet laureate.
Kimberly Blaeser, of the town of Lyons near Burlington, was selected by the state's Poet Laureate Commission to serve as Wisconsin's primary ambassador for poetry in 2015-16, according to the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters.
Blaeser, who spent her early years living on White Earth Reservation in northwestern Minnesota, teaches creative writing, Native American literature and American nature writing at UW-Milwaukee. She has published three collections of poetry and currently is working on "Picto-Poems" that combine wildlife and nature photography with poetry to explore ideas about place, nature, preservation and spiritual sustenance, according to the academy.
As poet laureate, Blaeser will receive a $2,000 annual stipend and be charged with traveling the state to promote the growth of poetry over the next two years. Blaeser succeeds Max Garland, Wisconsin poet laureate from 2012-14.