Two Celebrated Writers Teach at Luther in January 2013

Luther students have the luxury of choosing between two fine and celebrated writers as teachers this January Term. Jane Hamilton, an award-winning writer whose novels have become international best-sellers, and Athena Kildegaard, a poet who was short-listed for the Minnesota Book Award, will each teach a creative writing course on campus during January.

Jane Hamilton, who has written highly acclaimed short stories and five novels, will teach "Adventures in Reading and Writing Fiction."

Hamilton's first novel, The Book of Ruth, won the 1989 PEN/Hemingway Foundation Award for best first novel and was selected by Oprah Winfrey for the Oprah Book Club. The Short History of a Prince was published in 1999, and A Map of the World, which came out the same year, was an international best-seller. Disobedience appeared in 2001, and When Madeline Was Young was published in 2007. Her most recent novel, Laura Rider's Masterpiece, was published in 2010.

When Madeline Was Young has earned wide praise as a “long spiritual drink in a parched landscape” (Washington Post) and a “study in grace and compassion” (The Boston Globe). A Washington Post critic writes that Hamilton “is superb in her observation of the natural world and in her examination of psychological nuance.” The Chicago Tribune calls Hamilton “one of our most magnetic and provocative novelists.”

Jane Hamilton lives and writes in a farmhouse on an orchard in Wisconsin.

Athena Kildegaard, the author of three books of poetry, will teach "Creative Writing: Poetry & Fiction I."

Kildegaard's first book, Rare Momentum (Red Dragonfly Press, 2006), is a collection of 62 fibonaccis, formal poems based on that mathematical sequence. Bodies of Light (Red Dragonfly Press, 2011) was finalist for the Minnesota Book Award. And Cloves and Honey: Love Poems (Nodin Press, 2012) is the collected result of writing a love poem each day for a year.

Kildegaard has been a resident writer in Minnesota, Mississippi, and Texas, and has received arts grants from the Lake Region Arts Council and the Minnesota State Arts Board. She is a recipient of the 2011 LRAC/McKnight Fellowship.

Athena Kildegaard lives in Morris, MN, where she’s a lecturer at the University of Minnesota.

Both writers come to Luther with some personal connection, and both have been guest writers at Luther before. Jane Hamilton was Professor of English Lise Kildegaard’s college roommate at Carlton College, and Athena Kildegaard is Lise’s sister-in-law.

Novelist Jane Hamilton
Poet Athena Kildegaard