Faculty Member Receives National Poetry Recognition
By Dylan Schroeder
Throughout the last few years at Anoka-Ramsey Community College, various faculty members (and even some students) have published pieces of literature.
One of these faculty members is ARCC’s very own, Kirsten Dierking. She is an instructor of humanities and recently her poem “Lucky” was published in The Writer’s Almanac in February.
For those who don’t know, National Public Radio (NPR) produces The Writer’s Almanac — a national radio and online program that has featured talented authors daily since 1993. The Writer’s Almanac airs daily on MPR in Minnesota.
This was actually the ninth poem from Dierking’s collection that has been read for listeners on the broadcast.
She originally became aware that some of her work would be featured in 2007. “In 2007, I received an email from the NPR radio show The Writer’s Almanac, asking for permission to use one of my poems. I couldn’t believe it! After working alone as a writer for so long, I couldn’t believe that hundreds of thousands of people all across the country were going to hear my work.”
In January of 2015, Dierking was even asked to read some of her own work for an NPR show, A Prairie Home Companion. When sharing about her experience she said, “That was a great honor, and very exciting, and a little scary, as it’s a live show with over three million listeners.”
The ARCC writer added, “It is astonishing to me to be driving down the highway and hear the words I wrote in my backyard coming through my car radio.”
A dream for many writers is for their work to be shared in an enjoyable, high volume way. Dierking has accomplished with her current resume of work, and has even seen some of her work expand globally.
“It’s been very cool to realize that my poetry has travelled a long way — an Italian writer translated one of my poems into Italian and published it in Italy, a Chinese writer recently translated one of my poems for a literary blog in China, and my husband’s friend who lives in Norway heard one of my poems on the radio there.”
After achieving such great success while publishing a series of poems and books, Dierking understands how important continuing to better her work is.
“Writing is a constant process of working to become a better writer. Even if you think you’ve gotten to be a competent poet, you know you could be better. What usually happens for me is that I write a draft of a poem that has some good parts and some bad parts, and then I work to improve the bad parts.”
Students of ARCC who are looking to improve their writing abilities can learn from Dierking. Tips from Dierking include, “Read contemporary poetry, take creative writing classes, take classes in different fields that foster creative thinking, practice writing and especially practice revising, and don’t be afraid to bring your own unique voice and style to your work!”
Dierking’s books Tether, Northern Oracle, and One Red Eye can be found on Amazon, in online and local bookstores, and at the Anoka-Ramsey bookstore. You can also find them in libraries, including the Anoka-Ramsey library.