Conversation: Laura Tohe and Kimberly Blaeser

Join us for a conversation with author and librettist Laura Tohe and poet and photographer Kimberly Blaeser about interdisciplinary practices and collaborations. Both poets have engaged in several inter-arts projects, including Tohe’s librettos and Blaeser’s photography and picto-poems, among others. Each poet will read some of her own poems during the conversation as well. 

In person at Golda Meir Library Conference Center on the UW–Milwaukee campus 

Registration is not required for this event.

Laura Tohe is Diné, Sleepy-Rock People clan and born for the Bitter Water People clan. She is the current Navajo Nation Poet Laureate. Her books include No Parole TodayMaking Friends with WaterTséyi / Deep in the Rock, and Code Talker Stories. With Heid Erdrich, she edited the anthology Sister Nations: Native American Women Writers on Communityand her commissioned libretto, Enemy Slayer: A Navajo Oratorio and Nahasdzáán in the Glittering World, made its world premiere in France in 2008. Among her awards are the 2020 Academy of American Poetry Fellowship; 2019 American Indian Festival of Writers Award; Wordcraft Circle of Native American Writers and Storytellers; the Joy Harjo & the Lila Wallace Reader’s Digest Fund Award; and the Arizona Book Association's Glyph Award for Best Poetry and Best Book. Tohe is Professor Emerita with Distinction from Arizona State University.

Kimberly Blaeser, past Wisconsin Poet Laureate and founding director of Indigenous Nations Poets, is the author of six poetry collections including Ancient LightCopper Yearning, and the bilingual Résister en dansant/Ikwe-niimi: Dancing Resistance. Her photographs, picto-poems, and ekphrastic pieces have appeared in exhibits such as “Visualizing Sovereignty,” and “No More Stolen Sisters.” An enrolled member of the White Earth Nation, she is an Anishinaabe activist and environmentalist. An MFA faculty member at the Institute of American Indian Arts and a Professor Emerita at UW–Milwaukee, Blaeser currently serves as a Vassar College Tatlock Fellow and the 2024 Mackey Chair in Creative Writing at Beloit College. Her accolades include a Lifetime Achievement Award from Native Writers’ Circle of the Americas. She lives in rural Wisconsin and in a seasonal cabin near the BWCA wilderness.