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Tether Press Release

For immediate release                                              
From Anoka-Ramsey Community College
Contact Melinda Voss, 612-799-7076

August 2013

Anoka-Ramsey Community College instructor publishes third book of poetry

During a writing residency at Banfill-Locke Center for the Arts near the Mississippi River, Kirsten Dierking, a poet and humanities instructor at Anoka-Ramsey Community College, thought a lot about water and the changeable nature of time. 

The result is “Tether,” her third volume of poetry, published recently by Spout Press, a Minneapolis publisher.

“I’m trying to capture those moments when time seems to slow and still; the spaces between waking and sleeping, the middle of a long, hot season, the feeling of floating on water,” she said. “But I’m also trying to understand those parts of our lives that flash by and how we face the relentless onrush of the future.” 

The poems are grounded in "Minnesota" topics – winter, a vacation week at the cabin and the Mississippi River. Water is a strong theme in the book.

“I have poems about rivers, streams, lakes, the ocean,” Dierking said. “Part of this probably just comes from living in the land of 10,000 lakes.  But I was particularly inspired by a writing residency and by working at Anoka-Ramsey. Both of these places sit right on the banks of the Mississippi.  And I often get writing ideas when I'm out on the water paddling a kayak.” 

Being an active artist helps Dierking bring a creative dimension into the classroom and demonstrates to students that contemporary art is being created now. “They see that poetry is not just something they are reading about in a textbook,” she said.

Dierking has taught humanities courses at Anoka-Ramsey Community College since 2004 In 2011, Kirsten received the NEA's Excellence in the Academy Award for the Art of Teaching, and in 2009 she received the Building Bridges Award in Education from the Islamic Resource Group of Minnesota.

Also, she is the recipient of a 2010 McKnight Artist Fellowship, a Minnesota State Arts Board grant for literature, a Loft Literary Center Career initiative grant and a SASE/Jerome grant.

Dierking’s two other books of poetry are “Northern Oracle,”(Spout Press, 2007), and “One Red Eye,” (Holy Cow! Press, 2001). Her poems have been heard on public radio’s The Writer's Almanac and have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including Garrison Keillor's Good Poems, American Places and To Sing Along the Way: Minnesota Women Poets from Pre-Territorial Days to the Present.

“Tether” is available at local bookstores such as Common Good Books and Sub Text: a Bookstore, and is also available online through Small Press Distribution, Spout Press, and Amazon.  It can also be ordered at any bookstore. 

Anoka-Ramsey Community College, with campuses in Cambridge and Coon Rapids, has been a leading provider of higher education and training in East Central Minnesota since 1978 and the north suburban area of Minneapolis/St. Paul since 1965. Annually, the college serves more than 12,000 learners of all ages as they pursue associate degrees that transfer as the first two years of a bachelor's degree, or certificate programs that lead immediately to rewarding careers. In fiscal year 2008, the Continuing Education and Customized Training division generated more than 4,800 registrations in both credit and non-credit courses. Anoka-Ramsey Community College is a member of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System, which includes 32 institutions on 54 campuses.