Library of Congress Names Ted Kooser Poet Laureate

Library of Congress Names Ted Kooser Poet Laureate

Ted Kooser has been appointed the 13th U.S. poet laureate, Librarian of Congress James H. Billington announced August 12. Kooser will take up his post October 7 when he opens LC’s annual literary series, and he will also be a featured speaker at the National Book Festival’s poetry pavilion October 9.

“Ted Kooser is a major poetic voice for rural and small-town America and the first poet laureate chosen from the Great Plains,” Billington said. “His verse reaches beyond his native region to touch on universal theme in accessible ways.”

Kooser, who was born in Ames, Iowa, is the author of 10 collections of poetry, most recently Delights and Shadows (Copper Canyon, 2004). Other works include Braided Creek: A Conversation in Poetry (Copper Canyon, 2003), a joint work with his longtime friend Jim Harrison, which received the 2003 Award for Poetry from the Society of Midland Authors; and a collection of essays, Local Wonders: Seasons in the Bohemian Alps (University of Nebraska, 2002), which won several awards, including the Nebraska Book Award for Nonfiction in 2003.

Posted August 13, 2004.