Winner of Euphoria's 2004 Poetry Contest!

Kirsten Traynor

Growing up internationally has instilled a great interest in Kirsten Traynor for many cultures. Born to a German father and a Jewish American mother, Kirsten called both Europe and America home as a child, moving frequently between the various cultures. For five years she attended an international school that represented over sixty countries from six continents. This unique experience, coupled with extensive travels throughout the world, made Kirsten realize the importance language plays in understanding people and how they think.

Always inquisitive, Kirsten has observed the world around her, from swanky cocktail parties in English manor homes to the back county roads of India, from the quaint, historic streets of Lüneburg, Germany to the verdant hills and vibrant markets of the Seychelles. Throughout her travels Kirsten has watched the world with wide-open eyes, noting how people move, how their dress and gestures reveal their character – a nervous laugh, a jockeying for space, a bold, inviting glance…

Early on Kirsten saw that people don't simple speak a language, they think in it. Only when you understand the subtleties of words, the different shades of meaning, how an inflection can change a phrase, can you start to comprehend the people. Learning the language is the easy part; thinking in that language is a lifelong endeavor.

Kirsten is fluent in English and German, thinking and dreaming in both languages. Having spent three summers in the south of France as a student, Kirsten can also communicate in French. A grasp of these diverse languages provides Kirsten with unusual insight into their respective cultures.

Always in search of beauty, Kirsten was drawn to photography at an early age. After her first year of college she participated in a grueling photographic program. For nine weeks she traveled from the Midwest through the sunburned countryside of Utah and Arizona, stopping to examine the rich architectural beauty of Santa Fe, NM before heading down to western Mexico. Then she traveled back up through the American West, reveling in the endless open skies of Montana before continuing up to Glacier National Park and into Canada. Despite working with the most primitive of photographic equipment, Kirsten created a substantial portfolio of work, awakening a keen artistic sense.

The following summer Kirsten worked with a renowned commercial and fine art photographer. He taught her a unique photographic process, the Print Zone Control process that he had developed in his forty plus years as a photographer. Using this photographic process a photographer can produce silver prints of an unrivaled tonal scale, so that they appear etched and three-dimensional. By learning the strict technical aspects of photography, Kirsten could use her scientific knowledge to attain her artistic desires.

Having graduated a year early from high school and a year early from college, Kirsten received her BA from Kenyon College a few weeks after her 20th birthday. Since then she has worked as a commercial and fine art photographer. Photography has greatly influenced her writing, teaching her how to visualize a scene and rotate it in her mind. She has also worked as a model, which has given her insight into how a person's movements communicate without words.

Because of her myriad experiences, Kirsten has the ability to create characters and poetry of great depth and diversity. When she creates her poetry, she delves deeply into her mind. In delicate, tender images she depicts her raw emotions, innermost fears, hopes, joys and thoughts.

After so many years of moving between countries and states, Kirsten has finally put down roots in scenic Maryland with her husband Michael.

Here is Kirsten's Winning Poem

"From a Daughter To Her Father":

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