Ted Kooser was born in Ames, Iowa on April 25, 1939. He received his BA from Iowa State and his MA in English from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
He is the author of twelve collections of poetry, including Kindest Regards: New and Selected Poem (Copper Canyon Press, 2018), Splitting an Order (Copper Canyon Press, 2014); Delights & Shadows (Copper Canyon Press, 2004), which won the Pulitzer Prize in 2005; Winter Morning Walks: One Hundred Postcards to Jim Harrison (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2000), which won the 2001 Nebraska Book Award for poetry; Weather Central (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1994); One World at a Time (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1985); and Sure Signs (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1980).
His fiction and nonfiction books include The Poetry Home Repair Manual: Practical Advice for Beginning Poets (University of Nebraska Press, 2007); Braided Creek: A Conversation in Poetry (Copper Canyon Press, 2003) written with fellow poet and longtime friend, Jim Harrison; and Local Wonders: Seasons in the Bohemian Alps (Bison Books, 2002), which won the Nebraska Book Award for Nonfiction in 2003.
His honors and awards include two NEA fellowships in poetry, a Pushcart Prize, the Stanley Kunitz Prize from Columbia, and a Merit Award from the Nebraska Arts Council. In the fall of 2004, Kooser was appointed the thirteenth United States Poet Laureate.
He is a visiting professor in the English department of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He lives with his wife, Kathleen Rutledge, in rural Nebraska.