Ted Kooser is on my mind. He served two terms as U.S. Poet Laureate, 2004-2006, and was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for his book Delights & Shadows, published by Copper Canyon Press in Port Townsend, Washington. His hardcover volume Kindest Regards: New & Selected Poems, 2018, was also published by Copper Canyon. He teaches poetry writing at the University of Nebraska, where his position is Presidential Professor, and he edits a syndicated column titled American Life in Poetry, which appears in 150 newspapers with a total of 3.5 million readers. I am delighted to know that my poem “A Wedding Toast” is scheduled for June 24th this year. The online address for Ted’s column is: www.americanlifeinpoetry.org.
It has been many years since Ted and I have been together in person, but I’ve always considered him a good friend. I am reminded that the first collection of his poetry I purchased was a chapbook titled Twenty Poems, which is a beautiful hand-set letterpress book, with a cover of heavy, textured paper with a deckel-edged cover published in 1973 by The Best Cellar Press in Crete, Nebraska. The price noted on the back cover was “letterpress: two dollars” and “signed: four dollars.” The bio on the last page notes that his first book, titled Official Entry Blank, was published by the University of Nebraska Press in 1969.