The more ordinary the experience, the more I want to celebrate it, " exclaimed Ted Kooser, Pulizer Prize winner and recent Poet Laureate of the United States, who a number of months ago read a series of his poems at the Dowagiac Dogwood Fine Arts Festival. The author of eleven full collections of poetry, Kooser has received many other awards for his poetry. Kooser was born in Iowa and made his career in the business of life insurance. He is currently an English professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and continues to travel and read his poetry for many different but captivated audiences.
Ted Kooser's dedication to writing begins each day at 4:30 a.m., as he sits down and writes until 7:00 am. He keeps writing as part of his schedule so that he is able to spend the necessary amount of time working on new poems each day. He uses a sketch notebook to begin his free writings, types out any revisions on the computer, and then returns them to his notebook, pastes the lines in it, and writes all over the typed lines. This is the technique used to begin all of Ted Kooser's poems, who also proved to be a master of his own revision process. He also encouraged poets to describe ordinary experiences. He takes these experiences and adorns them with metaphors, similes, and personification. He also warned the audience that some stories can be delivered with too many literary elements and might weigh the poem down, making it sound false.
During his reading, Ted Kooser captured his audience with his storytelling poetry. He brought his family members to life, described his home, childhood experiences, and gave tips and examples through his own work. After each poem, the audience was given a little something--the ability to learn from and see into this outstanding poet's inner being.