On August 12th, 2004, Librarian of Congress James H. Billington announced the appointment of Ted Kooser to be the 13th Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress. He will take up his duties in the fall, opening the Library’s annual literary series on Oct. 7 with a reading of his work. Kooser will also be a featured speaker at the Library of Congress National Book Festival poetry pavilion on Saturday, October 9, on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.On making the appointment, 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."
Kooser, the author of ten collections of poetry, most recently Delights & Shadows (2004), was born in Ames, Iowa, in 1939. He earned his bachelor’s degree at Iowa State University in 1962 and his master’s degree at the University of Nebraska in 1968. Kooser is the former vice-president of Lincoln Benefit Life, an insurance company in Lincoln, NE, and currently lives on an acreage near the village of Garland, NE, with his wife, Lincoln Journal Star editor Kathleen Rutledge.
Kooser’s other collections of poetry include Sure Signs (1980), which received the Society of Midland Authors Prize for the best book of poetry by a midwestern writer published in that year; One World at a Time (1985); Weather Central (1994); and Winter Morning Walks: One Hundred Postcards to Jim Harrison (2000), winner of the 2001 Nebraska Book Award for Poetry. A book of his essays, Local Wonders: Seasons in the Bohemian Alps (2002), won the Nebraska Book Award for Nonfiction in 2003. The book was also chosen as the Best Book Written by a Midwestern Writer for 2002 by Friends of American Writers, and it won the Gold Award for Autobiography in ForeWord Magazine's Book of the Year Awards. Kooser is also the author, with his longtime friend Jim Harrison, of Braided Creek: A Conversation in Poetry (2003), for which the two poets received the 2003 Award for Poetry from the Society of Midland Authors.
Among Kooser’s other awards and honors are two National Endowment for the Arts fellowships, the Pushcart Prize, the Stanley Kunitz Prize from Columbia, the James Boatwright Prize and a Merit Award from the Nebraska Arts Council. He is a visiting professor in the English department of the University of Nebraska at Lincoln.
Beginning in January 2005 (and continuing through June 2005), information kiosks will be on display at various branches of the Lincoln City Libraries to celebrate Kooser's era as Poet Laureate. You can find more information about these kiosks and their schedule of appearances at this page.
The links in this section of this list will take you directly into the items' entries in the catalog of the Lincoln City Libraries, where you can check on the items' availability throughout the library system.
Poetry Collections (or other books) by Ted Kooser
Anthologies including poems or other work by Ted Kooser
Audio and Videotapes including readings by Ted Kooser
The following databases and/or webliographies on the Lincoln City Libraries site can be used to access numerous articles and/or links to additional resources on-line. [If you have difficulty using these databases, please contact the Reference Department at 441-8530 for assistance.]
Additional on-line resources * about Ted Kooser, the United States Poet Laureate program, and Poetry in general:
* Please Note: The presence of a link on this site does not constitute an endorsement by Lincoln City Libraries.