News> Ted Kooser named Poet Laureate of the United States
Congratulations, Ted!

Ted Kooser, a Prairie Schooner contributor and a visiting professor in the English Department at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln, was named Poet Laureate of the United States this August. The world knows him as the author of ten books of poetry, the most recent of which is Delights and Shadows, available from Copper Canyon Press, and one book of prose, Local Wonders, available from the University of Nebraska Press. Prairie Schooner's editors and staff know Ted Kooser as a gracious colleague, a dedicated teacher, a wise friend, and an extraordinary artist. We couldn't be happier for Ted, or for poetry, which has in him an excellent representative and advocate.

Here are three of Ted's poems from the Summer 1983 issue of Prairie Schooner:

Flying at Night

Above us, stars; beneath us, constellations.
Five billion miles away, a galaxy dies
like a snowflake falling on water. Below us,
some farmer, feeling the chill of that distant death,
snaps on his yardlight, drawing his sheds and barn
back into the little system of his care.
All night, the cities, like shimmering novas,
tug with their light at lonely stars like his.

In October

Summer has gone out of the trees
and onto the prairie, a train
of bay mules pulling a hayrack of leaves.
I heard the droverís whip whirr out and crack.
Behind, in the jabbering, crow-black woods,
lay winter in her silver coffin.

As the President Spoke

As the president spoke, he raised a finger
to emphasize something he said. I’ve forgotten
just what he was saying, but as he spoke
he glanced at that finger as if it were
somebody else’s, and his face went slack and gray,
and he folded his finger back into his hand
and put it down under the podium
along with whatever it meant, with whatever he’d seen
as it spun out and away from that bony axis.

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