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In the News - Kooser Laureate

November 13, 2014 by sdc
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posted August 17, 2004
Ted Kooser named Poet Laureate of the U.S./photo by Kathleen Rutledge

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.


UpdatedBeginning 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.
In the News - Resources in Our Collection
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

Official Entry Blank: Poems  811 Koo [1969]
Grass County  Heritage 811 Koo [1971]
Twenty Poems  811 Koo [1973]
A Local Habitation and a Name  811 Koo [1974]
Shooting a Farmhouse [and] So This is Nebraska  Heritage 811 Koo [1975]
Not Coming to Be Barked At: Poems  811 Koo [1976]
Hatcher  Kooser [1978] -- Novel
Old Marriage and New  811 Koo [1978]
Cottonwood County  811 Klo [1979] with William Kloefkorn
Sure Signs: New and Selected Poems  811 Koo [1980]
Weather Central  811 Koo [1984]
One World at a Time  811 Koo [1985]
Blizzard Voices  811 Koo [1986]
A Book of Things  Heritage 811 Koo [1995]
A Decade of Ted Kooser Valentines: 1987-1996  Heritage 811 Koo [1996]
Journey to a Place of Work: A Poet in the World of Business  658.314 Koo [1998]
Winter Morning Walks: 100 Postcards to Jim Harrison  811 Koo [2000]
Local Wonders: Seasons in the Bohemian Alps  917.823 Koo [2002]
Braided Creek: A Conversation in Poetry  811 Har [2003] with Jim Harrison
Delights & Shadows: Poems  811 Koo [2004]

Anthologies including poems or other work by Ted Kooser

The Pushcart Prize  810.8 Pus vol IX has a Kooser poem
The New Salt Creek Reader  Heritage Periodical New [1967-75]
A Bestiary  811 Sch [1973] one Kooser poem
Heartland II: Poets of the Midwest  CALL [1975]
Voyages to the Inland Sea VI: Essays and Poems  811.08 Voy v.6 [1976]
Silent Voices: Recent American Poems on Nature  Heritage 811.08 Fer [1978]
Brother Songs: A Male Anthology of Poetry  811.08 Per [1979]
Blue Hotel  Heritage Periodical Blu [Jan 1980]
Windflower Home Almanac of Poetry  811.08 Win [1980]
On Common Ground  811.08 San [1983]
Poetspeak: In Their Work, About Their Work, a Selection  811.08 Jan [1983]
Three Rivers, Ten Years  811.08 Cos [1983] one Kooser poem
Christmas in the Midwest  813.08 And [1984] illustration by Kooser
Out Here  Heritage 811 Rat [1984] cover design by Kooser
Strings: A Gathering of Family Poems  j811.08 Jan [1984]
Pocket Poems: Selected for a Journey  j811.08 Jan [1985]
Going Over to Your Place: Poems for Each Other  j811.08 Jan [1987]
As Far as I Can See: Contemporary Writing of the Middle Plains  810.8 Woo [1989]
Swamp Root, vol 1 num 4, Summer 1989  Heritage 811.08 Swa [1989]
Vital Signs: Contemporary American Poetry from the University Presses  811.08 Wal [1989]
Dreams in Dry Places  917.82 Bru [1990] foreward by Kooser
Wellsprings: A Collection From Six Nebraska Poets  811.08 qGeo [1995]
Wherever Home Begins: 100 Contemporary Poems  811.08 Jan [1995] one Kooser poem
The Plains Sense of Things: Eight Poets from Lincoln, Nebraska  811.08 San [1997]
A Man in Love With the Wind  811 Wel [1997] commentary by Kooser

Audio and Videotapes including readings by Ted Kooser

Ted Kooser: Voices of the Plains  Audio 791.447 Voi [1991] Radio broadcast
Nebraska Humor Month  Heritage Video NebH4 BETA [1984]
The Frontier in Contemporary Literature: Part I  Video 810.9 Fro5 [1985]
The Frontier in Contemporary Literature: Part II  Video 810.9 Fro6 [1985]
The Frontier in Contemporary Literature: Part III  Video 810.9 Fro7 [1985]
Hansen, Kooser, Saiser and Scheele  Video 811.08 Han [1999]
Ted Kooser Reads His Poetry, 1984  Video 811 Koo [1984]
Poetry Nebraska: Lesson #6  Video 811 Koo [1984]
Ted Kooser Reads His Poetry, 1986  Video 811 Koo [1986]
Nebraska, the Individual Voice: Part 2  Video 811 Neb2 [1986]
Blizzard Voices: a Dramatic Reading  Video 812 Koo [1986]

In the News - On-Line Resources

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.]

Database: Ebsco Masterfile Elite [periodical index and database]
Database: eLibrary [periodical & broadcast media index and database]
Database: Wilson Omnifile [periodical index and database]
Lincoln City Libraries Webliography: Poetry Resources

Additional on-line resources * about Ted Kooser, the United States Poet Laureate program, and Poetry in general:

Poet Laureate of the United States information from The Library of Congress
Nebraska Center for Writers page for Ted Kooser.
Critical Commentary about Kooser's work on the Nebraska Center for Writers page.
Access to some of Ted Kooser's poems at
Archive of past "poems of the day" at [scroll down to Kooser]
Kooser page at the Academy of American Poets Web site.'s list of all past Poet Laureates of the United States
Articles about the naming of Kooser as U.S. Poet Laureate
Official announcement from the Library of Congress [August 12, 2004]
USA Today
National Public Radio
San Francisco Chronicle
Kansas City Star
Washington Post
Minneapolis Star Tribune
BBC News

* Please Note: The presence of a link on this site does not constitute an endorsement by Lincoln City Libraries.

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Tagged in: news stories, news resources, In The News, Ted Kooser, Ted Kooser, Poet Laureate Consultant, poetry, poets,
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Literature and Electronic Text Resources

March 31, 2014 by pjorgensen

This section of our site has been discontinued.

Tagged in: literature, authors, writing, poets, poetry, e-texts, book, books, ebooks, electronic books, quotes, quotations, reading groups, book groups,
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Gere Books Talk - November 16, 2009

August 16, 2011 by Webmaster

The Bookmaking Process

PodcastListen now - 62:33, 28.6 MB

Jim, from Gere Branch, gives a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of some books of special interest in Nebraska, including:

Village Journal by Greg Kuzma
Marigolds by Greg Kosmicki (not currently held by Lincoln City Libraries)
Bones of a Very Fine Hand by Marjorie Saiser
Grand Canyon by Amil Quayle
Anton Sildmets: The Life and Games of a Nebraska Chess Icon by Kent B. Nelson (not currently held by Lincoln City Libraries)

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Tagged in: podcast, podcasts, books, book talks, poets, poetry, publishing, publishers,
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Hispanic Heritage Read In Review

October 10, 2009 by willa

On September 24, Lincoln City Libraries and El Centro de las Americas hosted its 3rd annual Hispanic Heritage Read In. This year, the event was held in the Bennett Martin Public Library courtyard. Our readers read poems in Spanish, which then were expertly translated by Brent Meier. The event also included performances by Echo Poetico, a partnership of slam poet Dominique Garay and musician Oscar Rios. Dominque’s expressive, poetic performance combined with the emotive music created by Oscar’s traditional Andean instruments held the audience spellbound. It was lovely to hear poetry drifting through the courtyard on such a gorgeous late summer day. For those of you who missed it, the event will be broadcast on 5 City-TV. Also, a grad student at UNL’s College of Journalism taped the read-In and interviewed several readers. Her piece will soon appear on I hope you can join us in September 2010. If you are interested in reading, please contact Sheila at 441-8546 or s.jacobs@lincolnlibraries.orgI hope you can join us in September 2010. If you are interested in reading, please contact Sheila at 441-8546 or

Tagged in: Spanish, bilingual, poetry,
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