Ken Meter


Ken Meter, a Minneapolis poet, has sung baritone with the Oratorio Society of Minnesota since 1991, and is a member of its Chamber Choir. Previously he sang with the Macalester Festival Chorale and the Canto General chorus. He taught writing in the schools through the Minnesota State Arts Board and COMPAS, and taught journalism and economic history at the University of Minnesota. He holds a masters in public administration from the Harvard Kennedy School, where he also taught economics.

Ken says, “A poem for me usually begins with a stirring inside me. It may be a numinous experience, or a feeling or an intuition I have about a dream or experience I have had. If I don’t have that quivering feeling, it is often quite difficult to write. If I do, the writing can be surprisingly rapid—though few of my poems achieve final form without a lot of revising.”

“In its way, each poem is a bit journalistic at some level, even though it may deal with the realm of dreams. Most all of my work emerges from actual experiences I have that move me. Much gets invented in the course of reflecting on those events and writing, but typically a poem begins with that grounding. As I write, I learn more and more about what I went through—often new layers of meaning become apparent to me only as I craft the words. Some readers have pointed out that the imagery in my best poems transforms itself mid-stream.”

“To me, participating in this process, of images showing the way to deeper images, is part of what makes writing poetry important to me. Ray is one of the first readers I have had who grasped this so intimately.”

Ken uses his poetry as a chance to stir his imagination, practice writing in very concise ways, edit mercilessly, and to understand simple themes that portray complex dynamics. His work often takes place in a geographic or natural context, and frequently centers on people he knows.

To contact Ken, send email to .