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Ted_Kooser

Ted Kooser

Ted Kooser (b. April 25, 1939, Ames, Iowa) is an American poet who was the thirteenth Poet Laureate of the United States, serving two terms from 2004 to 2006.

Life

Born in Ames, Iowa, in 1939, Kooser earned a BS at Iowa State University in 1962 and the MA at the University of Nebraska in 1968. He is the author of eleven collections of poetry. He is former vice-president of Lincoln Benefit Life, an insurance company, and lives on land near the village of Garland, Nebraska. He teaches as a Visiting Professor in the English department of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He is married to Kathleen Rutledge, former editor of the Lincoln Journal Star.

Career

On August 12, 2004, he was named Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry by the Librarian of Congress to serve a term from October 2004 through May 2005. In April 2005, Ted Kooser was appointed to serve a second term as Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry. During that same week Kooser received the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for his book "Delights and Shadows" (2004).

Kooser lives in Garland, Nebraska, and much of his work focuses on the Great Plains. Like Wallace Stevens, Kooser spent much of his working years as an executive in the insurance industry, although Kooser sardonically noted in an interview with the Washington Post that Stevens had far more time to write at work than he ever did. Kooser graduated from Iowa State University in 1962 and received a master's degree from the University of Nebraska in 1968. Kooser has won two NEA Literary Fellowships (in 1976 and 1984), the Pushcart Prize, the Nebraska Book Awards for Poetry (2001) and Nonfiction (2004), the Stanley Kunitz Prize (1984), the James Boatwright Prize, and the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry (2005).

Quotes

"Every stranger's tolerance for poetry is compromised by much more important demands on his or her time. Therefore, I try to honor my reader's patience and generosity by presenting what I have to say as clearly and succinctly as possible .... Also, I try not to insult the reader's good sense by talking down; I don't see anything to gain by alluding to intellectual experiences that the reader may not have had. I do what I can to avoid being rude or offensive; most strangers, understandably, have a very low tolerance for displays of pique or anger or hysteria. Being harangued by a poet rarely endears a reader. I am also extremely wary of over cleverness; there is a definite limit to how much intellectual showing off a stranger can tolerate."- Midwest Quarterly, 1999

"I would like to show average people, with a high school education or just a couple years of college, that they can understand poems. They are not to be afraid or feel they are being tricked by them. I'm trying to do that by example."

Bibliography

External links

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