Athena Kildegaard lives in prairie pothole country — that is, Morris, Minnesota — where she’s a lecturer at the University of Minnesota.

Here are a few things she’s done:

  • cleaned creamed corn machines
  • nursed two beautiful children
  • eaten fresh pineapple
  • listened to her husband play banjo
  • worked as a resident artist in Minnesota, Mississippi, and Texas
  • taught 6th grade, high school English, and at the college level freshman composition, creative writing, environmental ethics
  • read War and Peace three times
  • received grants from the Lake Region Arts Council and the Minnesota State Arts Board
  • received the 2011 LRAC/McKnight Fellowship


Portrait by Laura Peterson