POET | TEACHER
Athena Kildegaard writes poetry, libretti, essays, and stories. She is also the co-editor of an anthology and an occasional translator. She teaches creative writing to people of all ages. She and her husband are reviving wetlands and the land of a former small dairy with an eye to hosting writers and artists for short residencies. Her poems have appeared widely in many journals, including Prairie Schooner, Colorado Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, The American Journal of Poetry, North American Review and elsewhere. Her poems have been set to music by many composers, including Libby Larsen, Linda Kachelmeier, Mina Esary, Frank Horvat, and others. Kildegaard and Kachelmeier wrote the cantata “To Know the Path,” commissioned by the phenomenal St. Paul choir Border CrosSing, conducted by Ahmed Anzaldua. Athena’s poems have also been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and read on the radio, and they have served as inspiration for painters and dancers. She lives in western Minnesota where she teaches at the University of Minnesota Morris and directs the honors program.
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PRAIRIE MIDDEN | "In PRAIRIE MIDDEN, Athena Kildegaard delves into the archives and recovers and revivifies what was kept of the voices of settler women. She brings them into conversation with this moment—weaving a braid of voices from 19th century all the way to the 21st. These voices that build across centuries are at turns poignant, ruminative, and elegiac for not only people but also the prairie..." - Sean Hill, author of Dangerous Goods