Nature is muse for this impressionistic poet

Each day leading up to the April 14 announcement of the Minnesota Book Awards, we highlight one of the thirty-two finalists. Today we feature 2012 Poetry Finalist:

Bodies of Light
Athena Kildegaard

Red Dragonfly Press

Category Sponsor: Wellington Management, Inc.


The name and structure of Bodies of Light stem from the fact that light from exploded stars reaches earth long after those stars are gone. The first section, “Tenant,” focuses on the body and things permanent, while the second, “Transit,” focuses on movement and things fleeting.

An excerpt from Bodies of Light:

You Are Like a Star

Even the otter finds its way
To the creek by your light.

Buds on the fig dare to open,
The thief reconsiders.

I can stand out here all night
Beside the blue shed

embracing you, my hands
Sure of everything they touch.


Athena Kildegaard was born in Wyoming, grew up in Minnesota, and has lived in Sydney Australia, Chicago, Austin Texas, Oxford Mississippi, New Orleans, and Guanajuato Mexico. She now lives in Morris where she is a lecturer at the University of Minnesota, Morris.


“At times delightfully gritty, at times truly transcendent, Bodies of Light deserves our notice.”
– Minnesota Book Awards judge


In this interview with Lakes Country Living’s Stephen Henning, Athena Kildegaard talks about Bodies of Lights and the beautiful locations in outstate Minnesota from which she draws inspiration.

Award winners will be announced at the 24th Annual Minnesota Book Awards Gala on Saturday, April 14, 2012 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel – Saint Paul Riverfront. The opening reception begins at 7 p.m. followed by the awards ceremony at 8 p.m. New this year: a post-awards “Epilogue Celebration.” Online sales have ended, but tickets may be available by calling 651-222-3242. Click here for more information.

Have you read Bodies of Light? What are your thoughts? We welcome your comments!

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