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Conversations with Ted Kooser. John Cusatis, editor, Jackson, MI: University Press of Mississippi, 2025. 240 pgs.

In twenty-one interviews spanning nearly half a century, Conversations with Ted Kooser chronicles the Nebraska writer’s rise from a regional poet of the Great Plains to a Pulitzer Prize–winning artistic luminary. The candor, clarity, and eloquence, which distinguish Kooser’s plentiful body of work, color these edifying and entertaining conversations.

The interviews in Conversations with Ted Kooser are conducted by esteemed poets and critics, radio hosts, and journalists. They discuss Kooser’s life and career as well as his award-winning poetry, prose, and children’s books. The collection includes two previously unpublished interviews, separated by a twenty-year period, with poet/scholar Mary K. Stillwell, author of The Life and Poetry of Ted Kooser, as well as live interviews broadcast on NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross and Library of Congress host Grace Cavalieri’s The Poet and the Poem. The book also features thirty of Kooser’s poems, accompanied by his commentary on their genesis. Seventeen of these are drawn from his Pulitzer Prize–winning collection, Delights & Shadows.

Kooser (b. 1939) is a two-term United States Poet Laureate, dedicated to making engaging poetry available to all readers. His syndicated newspaper column, American Life in Poetry, begun during his tenure as poet laureate, delivered contemporary poems by poets from across the nation to more than four million readers, long after his laureateship ended. Now in his mideighties, Kooser remains highly prolific and internationally popular, continuing to compose life-affirming—and, as many attest, life-changing—poems, celebrating the wonders of the natural world, the subtle grandeur of human connection, and the unifying order he observes in all creation. -from the Publisher

Interview with John Cusatis and SOA AP English Literature Students:
"Interview with Ted Kooser" (2010)
Interview with John Cusatis
"Poetry is 'a Hand-Drawn Treasure Map': Ted Kooser in Conversation with John Cusatis" (2024)
Also by John Cusatis

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