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A List of Works by Nebraska Poet
William Kloefkorn, 1932-2011

William Charles "Bill" Kloefkorn was a Nebraska poet and educator based in Lincoln, Nebraska. He was the author of over 30 collections of poetry, two short story collections, a collection of children's Christmas stories, and four memoirs. His individual poems have appeared in Prairie Schooner, Georgia Review, Poet & Critic, and many other publications.

Kloefkorn was born in Attica, Kansas on August 12, 1932, where he graduated from Attica High School and married his high school sweetheart Eloise Ann in 1953. Bill attended Emporia State University in Emporia, KS, where he obtained a Bachelor's degree in 1954. He served in the military, commanding an anti-tank assault platoon as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps. Following his service, he taught high school for several years at Ellinwood High School in Ellinwood, KS. He returned to Emporia State University to get his Master's degree, and did additional graduate work at the University of Kansas and the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. For a time, he taught in the English Department at Wichita State University, then Kloefkorn moved to Lincoln in 1962 and taught at Nebraska Wesleyan University there until his retirement in 1997; he continued to teach part-time until 2002, and still held professor emeritus status at NWU at the time of his death in 2011.

Throughout his decades as an educator, and even into his retirement years, Kloefkorn continued to serve as a writing mentor to thousands of students. In the early 1970s he initiated Nebraska’s poets-in-the-schools program, talking and writing with young students throughout the state. “Not many things,” he said, “are more important or more satisfying than are classrooms filled with wide-eyed, vibrant students who are eager to learn and to tell stories by way of the written word.” A new elementary school in the southeast part of Lincoln, NE is named after Kloefkorn and opened in the Fall of 2012.

In 1982, Kloefkorn was named the Nebraska State Poet by proclamation of the Nebraska Unicameral. (In 1921, the Nebraska Legislature permanently bestowed the title of Poet Laureate of Nebraska on John Neihardt, who died in 1973. A successor to this official title has not been named since 1973.) Kloefkorn died in Lincoln, Nebraska on May 19, 2011. He and his wife, Eloise, had four children and numerous grandchildren.

Readers looking for a complete listing of Kloefkorn's poetry may have to do a little research on his recent output, however the 1994 book Burning the Hymnal, included a complete bibliography of his published poems through early 1993.

In addition to his many literary honors, Kloefkorn was known to boast that he won first place in the 1978 Nebraska Hog-Calling Championship.

William Kloefkorn entry on Wikipedia | William Kloefkorn entry on the Nebraska Center for Writers

State Poet William Kloefkorn -- from the Jan/Feb 2011 issue of Nebraska Life magazine

Remembering Bill Kloefkorn, Nebraska State Poet -- five minute audio tribute to Kloefkorn on NET Radio, where he was a frequent contributor


1972 - Alvin Turner as Farmer [811 Klo]
1974 - Uncertain the Final Run to Winter [811 Klo]
1975 - loony [811 Klo]
1976 - Ludi Jr. [811 Klo]
1978 - Stocker [Heritage 811 Klo]
1979 - Leaving Town [811 Klo]
1980 - Not Such a Bad Place to Be [811 Klo]
1981 - Let the Dance Begin [811 Klo]
1981 - Platte Valley Homestead [811 Klo]
1982 - Houses and Beyond [811 Klo]
1982 - Mosaics: In Commemoration of the Nebraska State Capitol After Fifty Years, 1932-1982 [Heritage 811 Klo]
1983 - Honeymoon for Doris (1933-2032) [811 Klo]
1984 - A Life Like Mine [811 Klo]
1984 - Collecting for the Wichita Beacon [811 Klo]
1989 - Where the Visible Sun Is [811 Klo]
1989 - Drinking the Tin Cup Dry [Heritage 811 Klo]
1992 - Dragging Sand Creek for Minnows [811 Klo]
1993 - Going Out, Coming Back [811 Klo]
1994 - Burning the Hymnal: The Uncollected Poems of William Kloefkorn [811 Klo]
1996 - Treehouse: New and selected Poems [811 Klo]
1999 - Among the Living [ not in library collection ]
2000 - Welcome to Carlos [811 Klo]
2001 - Loup River Psalter [Heritage 811 Klo]
2002 - Sergeant Patrick Gass, Chief Carpenter: On the Trail With Lewis and Clark [811 Klo]
2004 - Walking the Campus [ not in library collection ]
2004 - Walking the Campus: A Conversation With Bill Kloefkorn [Compact Disc 811 Klo]
2004 - Sunrise, Dayglow, Sunset, Moon [811 Klo]
2004 - Fielding Imaginary Grounders [Heritage 811 Klo]
2008 - Out of Attica [811 Klo]
2010 - Swallowing the Soap: New and Selected Poems [811 Klo]

Significant Poetry Anthologies and/or
Collaborations including Kloefkorn works

1972 - A Go Big Red Poetry Extravaganza, 1972 [811 Klo]
1977 - Voyages to the Inland Sea, VII: Essays and Poems [Heritage 811.08 Voy vol 7]
1978 - Silent Voices: Recent American Poems on Nature [Heritage 811.08 Fer]
1979 - Brother Songs: A Male Anthology of Poetry [Heritage 811.08 Per]
1979 - Cottonwood County: Poems [811 Klo]
1980 - No Moving Parts [811 Dea]
1983 - On Common Ground: The Poetry of William Kloefkorn, Ted Kooser, Greg Kuzma and Don Welch [811.08 San]
1985 - Adjoining Rooms: Poems [811.08 Ban]
1991 - Late Harvest: Rural American Writing [810.8 Pic]
1996 - Covenants: Poems [811 Klo]
1997 - A Man in Love With the Wind [811 Wel]
2006 - Still Life Moving [811 Fre]
1997 - The Plains Sense of Things: Eight Poets From Lincoln, Nebraska [811.08 San]
2007 - Nebraska Presence: An Anthology of Poetry [811.08 Kos]
2009 - The Poets Guide to the Birds [811.08 Kit]
2010 - In a House Made of Time [Heritage 811.08 Klo]
2010 - Nebraska: This Place, These People [811 Klo]
2011 - Good Poems, American Places [811.08 Kei]
2011 - Moments of Delicate Balance [811.08 Klo]


1993 - The Coldest Christmas, or How Do You Start a Reindeer? and Nine Other Yuletide Stories [Kloefkorn] *
1999 - A Time to Sink Her Pretty Little Ship [Kloefkorn]
2003 - Shadowboxing and Other Stories [Kloefkorn] *
* - indicates short story collection


1997 - This Death By Drowning [B K69]
2003 - Restoring the Burnt Child: A Primer [B K69]
2006 - At Home on This Moveable Earth [B K69]
2009 - Breathing in the Fullness of Time [Biography Kloefkorn]
The Jane Pope Geske Heritage Room of Nebraska Authors has copies of numerous Kloefkorn books in various editions. These are available for Kloefkorn scholars to study during the Heritage Room's regular hours. Bill Kloefkorn took part in various recorded readings over the years, and you will find numerous other items in the library collection associated with him by doing either Subject -- or Author -- searches in the library catalog under "Kloefkorn, William."

adapted for the Web March 2012 sdc / last updated August 2012 sdc

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