Above us, stars. Beneath us, constellations. Five billion miles away, a galaxy dies like a snowflake falling on water. Below us, some farmer, feeling the chill of that distant death, snaps on his yard light, drawing his sheds and barn back into the little system of his care. All night, the cities, like
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.