Published Works

Ted Kooser has published a number of books of poetry.

Book Cover Title Date Description/Review Links
Valentines Valentines 2007 Valentines collects Kooser’s twenty-two years of Valentine’s Day poems, complemented with illustrations by Robert Hanna and a new poem appearing for the first time.

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Flying at Night Flying at Night 2005 Flying at Night is a new compilation from University of Pittsburg Press that will include poems from Sure Signs and One World at a Time.

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Excerpt 1: Flying at Night

The Poetry Home Repair Manual
The Poetry Home Repair Manual 2005 Much more than a guidebook to making and revising poems, this manual has all the comforts and merits of a long and enlightening conversation with a wise and patient old friend—a friend who is willing to share everything he’s learned about the art he’s spent a lifetime learning to execute so well. Buy from Publisher
Delights and Shadows Delights and Shadows 2004 For more than thirty years Ted Kooser has written poems that deftly bring dissimilar things into telling unities. Throughout a long and distinguished writing career he has worked toward clarity and accessibility, making a poetry as fresh and spontaneous as a good watercolor. A gyroscope balanced between a child's hands, a jar of buttons that recalls generations of women, and a bird briefly witnessed outside a window — each reveals the remarkable within an otherwise ordinary world.
— Poetry Daily
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Excerpt 1 : At the Cancer...
Excerpt 2 : Father
Excerpt 3 : Skater
Excerpt 4 : Tattoo

Braided Creek Braided Creek 2003 There are poems on the natural world, aging, dying, friendship, love and eros. There is abundant humor. ... There also is distilled wisdom.
— Houston Chronicle
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Local Wonders Local Wonders,
Seasons in the Bohemian Alps
2002 “This is a heartfelt, plainspoken book about slowing down and appreciating the world around you.”
— Janet Maslin, CBS Sunday Morning

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Winter Morning Walks, 100 Postcards to Jim Harrison Winter Morning Walks, 100 Postcards to Jim Harrison 2000 This is a compilation of short imagistic poems that Ted sent as postcards to his friend, Jim Harrison, while Kooser was recovering from cancer treatment.

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Weather Central Weather Central 1994 Kooser's virtues are those traditionally ascribed to the Midwest: plainspokenness, modesty, common sense. He sits on his porch, uninterested in academic cant or the fashions of poetic schools, and takes in the world around, praising its quiet beauty....Kooser has always been an archeologist of sorts. An abandoned schoolhouse, a deserted forge, an old stoneware crock — all set him wondering, trying to reconstruct the lives of those who used them. Even in his earliest published poems, the elegiac note came naturally to Kooser, both celebration and lament for a way of life that was disappearing as farm families moved to the city.

— The Bloomsbury Review

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The Blizzard Voices The Blizzard Voices 1986 A dramatized poetic narrative of the devastation unleashed on Nebraska Territory by the great blizzard of January 12, 1888. Drawn from the reminiscences of the survivors: the men and women who were teaching school, working the land, tending the house... when the storm arrived and changed their lives forever. Illustrated with twelve line drawings by Tom Pohrt.
— from the jacket

  One World at a Time 1985 In the closing poem of this new collection, a spider brushes globes of dew from her web, "one world at a time." Since Ted Kooser's poems first began to appear in print, some twenty years ago, they have moved, as he has said, "from job to job, from love to love," with great patience and care, as if each poem were a miniature world that needed completion before being left to stand alone.
— from the jacket

Sure Signs Sure Signs 1980 "I found it impossible to put Sure Signs down until I had finished the entire book. It was like sitting next to a box of chocolates before dinner...a collection alternately delightful and mysterious."
— Dana Gioia, The Hudson Review
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Excerpt 1 : Carrie

  Not Coming to be Barked At 1976 Kooser's third full-sized collection of poems. Many of these were collected into SURE SIGNS in 1980. (Out of Print)
  A Local Habitation & A Name 1974 This was the first of Kooser's books to receive national recognition, being favorably reviewed in SATURDAY REVIEW and elsewhere. (Out of Print)
  Official Entry Blank 1969 This is Kooser's first book of poems, published when he was 30, by the University of Nebraska Press. (Out of Print)