Ted Kooser Biography
Hailed by Dana Gioia as a writer "who has written more perfect poems than
any poet of his generation," Kooser is widely praised for his plainspoken
style, his gift for metaphor, and his quiet discoveries of beauty in
ordinary things. Reviewing
, poet and critic
David Baker wrote: "Kooser documents the dignities, habits, and small griefs
of daily life, our hunger for connection, our struggle to find balance in
natural and unnaturally human worlds." In announcing his appointment as
Poet Laureate, Librarian of Congress James Billington said, "Ted Kooser is a
major poetic voice for rural and small town America and the first Poet
Laureate chosen from the Great Plains. His verse reaches beyond his native
region to touch on universal themes in accessible ways."
Ted Kooser was born in Ames, Iowa, in 1939. He received his B.A. from Iowa
State and his M.A. in English from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
He is the author of a number of collections of poetry, including
(University of Pittsburgh Press, 2005),
Delights & Shadows
Braided Creek: A Conversation in Poetry
(Copper Canyon, 2003)
written with fellow poet and longtime friend, Jim Harrison;
Walks: One Hundred Postcards to Jim Harrison
(2000), which won the 2001
Nebraska Book Award for poetry;
One World at a Time
(1980). His nonfiction books include
The Poetry Home
Repair Manual: Practical Advice for Beginning Poets
(University of Nebraska
Press, 2005) and
Local Wonders: Seasons in the Bohemian Alps
Nebraska Press, 2002).
His many honors include two NEA fellowships in poetry, a Pushcart Prize, the Stanley Kunitz Prize from Columbia, the Boatwright Prize from Shenandoah, the Pulitzer Prize, and an appointment as U. S. Poet Laureate.
He is a professor in the English Department of the University of
Nebraska-Lincoln. He lives on an acreage near the village of Garland, Nebraska,
with his wife Kathleen Rutledge, the editor of the
Lincoln Journal Star.
Ted Kooser Photographs
Click on the image to download a high-res tiff. Photo credit: UNL Publications and Photography.