KIRSTEN OGDEN (K.E.OGDEN or KO) swam with sharks in the Galapagos, lived in a sugar cane shack in Maui while selling pearls on the beach, and danced at a bonfire in Fairbanks, AK watching Hale-Bopp streak across the sky.
Her identity and culture have been informed by growing up working class in Honolulu, Hawai'i, attending high school in Northern California during the AIDS crisis, and spending almost every summer of her life in rural, southeastern Louisiana.
She is a former Peter Taylor Poetry Fellow for the Kenyon Review, a two-time judge for the Flannery O'Connor Short Fiction Prize, and a Poet-Laureate of Gambier, Ohio.
Winner of the 2019 Cal State LA Henri Coulette memorial Award for Poetry sponsored by The Academy of American Poets and named a Poetry Ambassador to The Normal University in Changsha, China by the Center for Contemporary Poetry & Poetics at CSULA, Kirsten is a multi -genre writer, scholar, director and artist,
Her dissertation, An Aloha State of Mind: Performing Hawaiian Cultural Identities explores Hawaiian Drama and is housed in the Kumu Kahua theater archives. Her poems, essays, and prose have won awards and have been published in a variety of venues, including KRO: Kenyon Review Online, Louisiana Literature, anderbo, brevity, Phoebe, MilkJournal, Slipstream,
Claudius Speaks, Arsenic Lobster, and Fourth River: Tributaries.
She was a featured poet for the Poets for Living Waters project after the Gulf Oil Spill, and her digital quilt piece "Caged" was featured with other paper/book artists in response to the election of Donald Trump at the Unstitched States project, curated by author Gretchen Henderson.
Kirsten mentors young writers each summer as a faculty member in the Kenyon Review Young Writers Workshop and is Professor and Creative Writing Committee chair in the English Division at Pasadena City College where she organizes the Public Humanities Speakers Series, serves as a Faculty Editor for PCC Inscape Magazine, and organizes the Visiting Writers series with her colleagues.