Kelsi Vanada


family history, Danish heritage, poetry


Though many Americans can trace their family history back to their European ancestors, I have met very few people outside of my own family who have maintained relationships with the branches of their families still living in Europe. I have always been proud of the fact that I know many of my family members living in Denmark today. These ties between the Danish and American sides of my family are strengthened every time one of us travels to visit relatives in the other country, so I am extremely grateful that the Danish American Heritage Society (DAHS) awarded me an Edith and Arnold N. Bodtker Grant to travel to Denmark last summer to conduct research for writing poems as part of the thesis I am completing toward my master’s degree.