[Skip Navigation]

American Life in Poetry

U. S. Poet Laureate Ted Kooser's column featuring a brief look at a contemporary American poem each week.

  • American Life in Poetry: Column 040
    by Ted Kooser, U. S. Poet Laureate - 29 December 2005
    In this column Kooser closes out 2005 with “A Yellow Leaf” by Arizona poet Alberto Rios.
  • American Life in Poetry: Column 037
    by Ted Kooser, U. S. Poet Laureate - 09 December 2005
    Kooser encourages us to focus on the melodic clanging of “The Wind Chimes” by Shirley Buettner.
  • American Life in Poetry: Column 036
    by Ted Kooser, U. S. Poet Laureate - 01 December 2005
    In this column Ted Kooser hustles us down to “In The Black Rock Tavern” by western New Yorker Judith Slater.
  • American Life in Poetry: Column 035
    by Ted Kooser, U. S. Poet Laureate - 22 November 2005
    This weep Kooser wraps up “Tintype on the Pond, 1925″ by Massachusetts poet J. Lorraine Brown.
  • American Life in Poetry: Column 031
    by Ted Kooser, U. S. Poet Laureate - 27 October 2005
    Kooser walks down memory lane with “In My Mother’s House” by New York poet Gloria G. Murray.
  • American Life in Poetry: Column 030
    by Ted Kooser, U. S. Poet Laureate - 20 October 2005
    In this installment Ted Kooser poaches “Boy and Egg” by Texas poet Naomi Shihab Nye.
  • American Life in Poetry: Column 029
    by Ted Kooser, U. S. Poet Laureate - 13 October 2005
    Ted Kooser… um… let’s face it - these abstracts are completely arbitrary. Here’s “Cliff Swallows” by Debra Nystrom.
  • American Life in Poetry: Column 028
    by Ted Kooser, U. S. Poet Laureate - 06 October 2005
    Kooser warms up the griddle to cook up some “Speckled Trout” by North Carolina poet Ron Rash.
  • American Life in Poetry: Column 027
    by Ted Kooser, U. S. Poet Laureate - 29 September 2005
    Kooser silently gestures towards “Children in a Field” by Pennsylvania poet Angela Shaw.
  • American Life in Poetry: Column 026
    by Ted Kooser, U. S. Poet Laureate - 22 September 2005
    This week Ted Kooser moseys out to the “Stable” by Virginia poet Claudia Emerson.
  • American Life in Poetry: Column 025
    by Ted Kooser, U. S. Poet Laureate - 15 September 2005
    In his 25th weekly column, Ted Kooser visits “The Bethlehem Nursing Home” by Michigan poet Rodney Torreson.
  • American Life in Poetry: Column 024
    by Ted Kooser, U. S. Poet Laureate - 08 September 2005
    In this column, Kooser listens intently to “Cicadas at the End of Summer” by New York poet Martin Walls.
  • American Life in Poetry: Column 023
    by Ted Kooser, U. S. Poet Laureate - 01 September 2005
    This time around Kooser camps out with “Camping Out” by Washington poet E. G. Burrows.
  • American Life in Poetry: Column 022
    by Ted Kooser, U. S. Poet Laureate - 25 August 2005
    This week Kooser introduces us to a poem “Of Some Renown” by Vermont writer Jean L. Connor.
  • American Life in Poetry: Column 020
    by Ted Kooser, U. S. Poet Laureate - 11 August 2005
    In his 20th weekly column Ted Kooser gives us the lowdown on “The Woodpecker Keeps Returning” by California poet Jane Hirshfield.
  • American Life in Poetry: Column 019
    by Ted Kooser, U. S. Poet Laureate - 04 August 2005
    This time around Kooser goes spelunking in the poem “Discovered” by Shirley Buettner.
  • American Life in Poetry: Column 018
    by Ted Kooser, U. S. Poet Laureate - 28 July 2005
    This week Kooser hoists the flag for “The Rain Poured Down” by California poet Dan Gerber.
  • American Life in Poetry: Column 017
    by Ted Kooser, U. S. Poet Laureate - 21 July 2005
    Armed with a chair and whip, Ted Kooser tames “The Peace of Wild Things” by Kentucky poet Wendell Berry.
  • American Life in Poetry: Column 016
    by Ted Kooser, U. S. Poet Laureate - 14 July 2005
    As we enter the dog days of summer, Kooser cools off with “Love Like Salt” by Illinois poet Lisel Mueller.
  • American Life in Poetry: Column 015
    by Ted Kooser, U. S. Poet Laureate - 07 July 2005
    This week Ted Kooser opens a can of exegesis on “The Woman Who Collects Noah’s Arks” by Texas poet Janet McCann.
  • American Life in Poetry: Column 014
    by Ted Kooser, U. S. Poet Laureate - 30 June 2005
    Ted Kooser trips the light fandango with “Old Woman in a Housecoat” by Georgiana Cohen.
  • American Life in Poetry: Column 013
    by Ted Kooser, U. S. Poet Laureate - 23 June 2005
    In this week’s column, Ted Kooser waxes poetic on “Turning Forty” by Ohio poet Kevin Griffith.
  • American Life in Poetry: Column 010
    by Ted Kooser, U. S. Poet Laureate - 02 June 2005
    This time around, Ted Kooser lays down the gauntlet for you to read “More Than Enough” by Marge Piercy.
  • American Life in Poetry: Column 009
    by Ted Kooser, U. S. Poet Laureate - 26 May 2005
    In this installment, Kooser invites us to read a bit of “The City’s Oldest Known Survivor of the Great War” by James Doyle.
  • American Life in Poetry: Column 008
    by Ted Kooser, U. S. Poet Laureate - 19 May 2005
    This week, Kooser directs our attention to “Moonflowers” by Nebraskan poet Karma Larsen.
  • American Life in Poetry: Column 005
    by Ted Kooser, U. S. Poet Laureate - 28 April 2005
    Column five brings Kooser to take a gander at “Neighbors in October” by David Baker.
  • American Life in Poetry: Column 004
    by Ted Kooser, U. S. Poet Laureate - 21 April 2005
    In this, his fourth weekly column, Kooser offers us a glimpse of “Another Feeling” by Ruth Stone.
  • American Life in Poetry: Column 003
    by Ted Kooser, U. S. Poet Laureate - 14 April 2005
    In his third weekly column, Kooser considers “Bessie Dreaming Bear” by Marnie Walsh.
  • American Life in Poetry: Column 001
    by Ted Kooser, U. S. Poet Laureate - 04 April 2005
    In this first of a series of weekly columns, U. S. Poet Laureate Ted Kooser takes a look at “Neighbors” by contemporary poet David Allan Evans.

Articles Home

This site will work and look better in a browser that supports web standards, but it is accessible to any Internet device.