Kierstin Bridger: A Contemporary Writer

Poet comes to Western to discuss her work

Kennedy Sievers/Senior Staff Writer

Kierstin Bridger after her poetry reading. Photo by Kennedy Sievers.

One line of Kierstin Bridger’s poetry reads, “Stepping out into the wild, the river talks too.” The river talks, and Kierstin Bridger helps it. Bridger, a Colorado native, came to read her poetry on Feb. 23, 2017 in the West Wing of Western’s library.

Bridger has published two collections of poetry: All Ember and Demimonde. Both collections came out in 2016. Among other accolades, she won the Mark Fischer Poetry Prize and the 2015 ACC Writer’s Studio Prize, is the editor of Ridgway Alley Poems, and has poetry in several anthologies.

Many people turned up for her poetry reading on Feb. 23 and her craft talk on Feb. 24. She read excerpts of poems from both of her books, including poems such as “Manifest,” “Caretaking,” “Demimonde,” and “Hey, You There.”

Bridger talked about her roots in Colorado, specifically Buena Vista, Telluride, and Ridgway, where she currently lives.

She also discussed the themes of her two books. All Ember leans towards the autobiographical, whereas Demimonde is a collection of persona poems focusing on prostitution in the early days of mining towns like Telluride and Aspen.

During her explanation of her writing processes and inspirations, Bridger focused on the ideas of passions; some of hers are giving voices to the voiceless and women’s issues. She said she feels Demimonde centers around those passions, and encouraged other writers to find their own obsessions and write to them.

Bridger came to Western as a part of the Contemporary Writer Series, which is hosted by the English department. Throughout the semester, the Writer Series hosts a variety of contemporary authors who read and discuss their work, which is free for students and the community to attend.

Watch out for future writers coming to Western this semester as a part of the Contemporary Writer Series!