Thursday, January 31, 2013

Biography: Ted Kooser, American Poet

by M. J. Joachim
Ted Kooser offers a bit of humor with insights about everyday life in his poetry.  His poems are simple, unpretentious, and honest.  They tap into the beauty that so often gets forgotten in the rush of day to day living.  Kooser is an American Poet whose work can inspire anyone wanting to retreat to the calm, quiet realities that occur regardless of who is paying attention to them.

Kooser was born in Ames, Iowa in 1939.  He received his Master’s Degree in English from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where he is currently a professor.  Besides working as a professor and freelance writer, he also sold insurance to support his family.  He is husband, father and grandfather.

Kooser is the author of several published books which include poetry, nonfiction, and chapbooks and special editions.  Some of his better known poetry books are:  Flying at Night, Braided Creek:  A Conversation in Poetry, and One World at a Time.  His nonfiction books include: The Poetry Home Repair Manual, Practical Advice for Beginning Poets, and Local Wonders:  Seasons in the Bohemian Alps.  He has also written texts and anthologies which are used for teaching secondary and college courses, as well as plays, fiction, and essays.

Kooser has been a noted speaker and poetry reader throughout his career.  He has read for the Academy of American Poets in New York City, as well as at University of California Berkeley, and many other reknown places.  Among his achievements, he has received a Pulitzer Prize, the Boatwright Prize from Shenandoah, two NEA fellowships, Governor’s Art Award, and Best American Essays Award.  From 2004 – 2006, he held the honor of Poet Laureate.

Kooser is an American Poet who has contributed full heartedly to the world of writing. His works can be analyzed and dissected, or read simply for quiet reflection and enjoyment.  His ideas, while not always being new, are expressed with insight and tenderness.  He resides with his wife and two dogs on a farm in Nebraska, where he writes about country life, old time values, and the simple joy of just being.

Photo credit: U. S. Library of Congress, Public Domain
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