Photo by Tom Hintgen
Author Michael Kleber-Diggs comes to Otter Tail County through zoom seminars coordinated by the Viking Library System.

By Tom Hintgen

Otter Tail County Correspondent

A portion of the Minnesota legacy fund, approved several years ago by state residents, goes to arts and cultural activities.

Those dollars allow for Augsburg University creative writing instructor, Michael Kleber-Diggs, to lead zoom meetings and provide tips to writers in Otter Tail County. His seminars can also be enjoyed by people in other walks of life.

His latest zoom seminar, on Feb. 24, was promoted as “Adding or keeping creativity in your writing practice.”

Kleber-Diggs is an essayist, literary critic and teacher of poetry and nonfiction. He and his wife, Karen, a horticulturist, live close to Como Park in St. Paul where Karen works.

“Creativity comes from curiosity, flexibility, tolerance and unusual uses of familiar objects,” Kleber-Diggs said. “Put another way, creativity is where something new is made, a phenomenon that’s remarkable and not just a process.”

He adds that creative people, no matter what they do in life, are those with abundant inventiveness.

“Have fun and divorce yourself from expectations,” Kleber-Diggs said. “Gravitate to things that inspire you.”

He provides advice into his own success with poetry.

“When I start a poem, I’m fascinated by a particular moment or particular object,” Kleber-Diggs said. “I try to figure out why I’m so fascinated. I feel like the poem is done when I find the answer.”

He sees the world which, in his viewpoint, is where his humanist ideals come forward.

Humanists strive for a more humane, just, compassionate and democratic society. They seek ethics based on human reason, experience and reliable knowledge.

“We all have the things we need for heaven on earth,” Kleber-Diggs said. “This is our mission, to figure out how to love each other and take care of each other.