- Ted Kooser
Ted Kooser (b.
April 25, 1939, Ames, Iowa) is an American poetwho was the thirteenth Poet Laureate of the United States, serving two terms from 2004 to 2006.
Ames, Iowa, in 1939, Kooser earned a BS at Iowa State Universityin 1962 and the MA at the University of Nebraskain 1968. He is the author of eleven collections of poetry. He is former vice-president of Lincoln Benefit Life, an insurance company, and lives on land near the village of Garland, Nebraska. He teaches as a Visiting Professor in the English department of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He is married to Kathleen Rutledge, former editor of the Lincoln Journal Star.
August 12, 2004, he was named Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetryby the Librarian of Congressto serve a term from October 2004 through May 2005. In April 2005, Ted Kooser was appointed to serve a second term as Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry. During that same week Kooser received the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for his book "Delights and Shadows" (2004).
Kooser lives in
Garland, Nebraska, and much of his work focuses on the Great Plains. Like Wallace Stevens, Kooser spent much of his working years as an executive in the insuranceindustry, although Kooser sardonically noted in an interview with the " Washington Post" that Stevens had far more time to write at work than he ever did. Kooser graduated from Iowa State Universityin 1962 and received a master's degreefrom the University of Nebraskain 1968. Kooser has won two NEA Literary Fellowships (in 1976 and 1984), the Pushcart Prize, the Nebraska Book Awardsfor Poetry (2001) and Nonfiction (2004), the Stanley Kunitz Prize(1984), the James Boatwright Prize, and the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry(2005).
"Every stranger's tolerance for poetry is compromised by much more important demands on his or her time. Therefore, I try to honor my reader's patience and generosity by presenting what I have to say as clearly and succinctly as possible .... Also, I try not to insult the reader's good sense by talking down; I don't see anything to gain by alluding to intellectual experiences that the reader may not have had. I do what I can to avoid being rude or offensive; most strangers, understandably, have a very low tolerance for displays of pique or anger or hysteria. Being harangued by a poet rarely endears a reader. I am also extremely wary of over cleverness; there is a definite limit to how much intellectual showing off a stranger can tolerate."- "Midwest Quarterly", 1999
"I would like to show average people, with a high school education or just a couple years of college, that they can understand poems. They are not to be afraid or feel they are being tricked by them. I'm trying to do that by example."
* "Official Entry Blank". (1969).
* "Grass County". (1971).
* "Twenty Poems". (1973).
* "A Local Habitation and a Name". (1974).
* "Not Coming to Be Barked At". (1976).
* "Sure Signs: New and Selected Poems". (1980).
* "One World at a Time". (1985).
* [http://www.nebraskapress.unl.edu/product/The-Blizzard-Voices,673128.aspx "The Blizzard Voices"] . (1986).
* "Weather Central". (1994).
* "A Book of Things". (1995).
* "Riding with Colonel Carter". (1999).
* "Winter Morning Walks: One Hundred Postcards to Jim Harrison". (2001).
* "Delights and Shadows". (2004).
* [http://www.nebraskapress.unl.edu/product/Local-Wonders,671227.aspx?skuid=9129 "Local Wonders: Seasons in the Bohemian Alps"] . (2004).
* "Flying At Night : Poems 1965-1985". (2005).
* [http://www.nebraskapress.unl.edu/product/The-Poetry-Home-Repair-Manual,671819.aspx "The Poetry Home Repair Manual: Practical Advice For Beginning Poets"] . (2005).
* [http://www.nebraskapress.unl.edu/product/Valentines,673421.aspx "Valentines"] . (2008).
* [http://www.tedkooser.com/ Official website]
* [http://www.loc.gov/rr/program/bib/kooser/ Ted Kooser: Online Resources from the Library of Congress]
* [http://www.americanlifeinpoetry.org/ American Life in Poetry, Kooser's syndicated newspaper feature]
* [http://www.guernicamag.com/interviews/152/the_crossing_over/ Author interview in Guernica Magazine (Guernicamag.com)]
* [http://mockingbird.creighton.edu/NCW/kooser.htm Ted Kooser biographical summary]
* [http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A26665-2005Apr4.html Linton Weeks, "Washington Post", "Poet Laureate's Prized Words",
April 5, 2005, page C1]
* [http://www.valpo.edu/english/vpr/purdyreviewkooser.html A review of "Delights & Shadows"] by Ted Kooser.
*Fresh Air episode|url_date_arg=04-Apr-2005|date=4 April 2005
* [http://net.unl.edu/swi/media2/extras/kooser_060206_MSTR.mov Television Profile of Ted Kooser] - NET Television
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