Local poet to read from her new collection, Northern Oracle, April 15 at UST

April is National Poetry Month

Local poet to read from her new collection, Northern Oracle, April 15 at UST

Kirsten Dierking, an Arden Hills poet who teaches humanities courses at Anoka-Ramsey Community College, will read from her second collection, Northern Oracle (Spout Press, 2007), at 4 p.m. Tuesday, April 15, in the O'Shaughnessy Room of O'Shaughnessy-Frey Library Center at the University of St. Thomas.

Kirsten Dierking

Dierking, who worked at the St. Thomas and Hamline university libraries during the 1990s, earned her master's degree in creative writing from Hamline University in 1994. She also has a bachelor's degree in international affairs and history from the University of Colorado.

Dierking's first book of poetry, One Red Eye, was published by Holy Cow! Press in 2001. Her work has appeared in several journals and anthologies, including Water~ Stone Review, Poetry East and To Sing Along the Way: Minnesota Women Poets from Pre-Territorial Days to the Present (New Rivers Press, 2006). She has been the recipient of a Minnesota State Arts Board Fellowship for poetry, a Loft Literary Center Career Initiative Grand and a SASE/Jerome Foundation grant for poetry.

When Dierking discovered in the 1990s that part of her family was descended from the Sami – a people indigenous to northern Finland – she began studying Sami culture, their close connection to the land and their traditional animist religions. In Northern Oracle the author returns to the theme that our lives are entwined inextricably with the spiritual in animals and nature. The book explores people's sense of "home," addresses issues of war and terrorism, and ponders experiences of aging.

"In the end," Dierking writes, "the book recognizes the body's transitory existence, but finds comfort in the idea that this transience is an essential element of nature."

For more information about the poet or to preview the book, visit Dierking's Web site, www.dierking.net.

For more information about the reading at St. Thomas, which is part of St. Thomas' celebration of National Library Week, call (651) 962-5014.