A Man with a Rake

by Ted Kooser

A Man with a Rake is an auspicious launch– Kooser, in his eighties now,  is a master of American letters (winner of the Pulitzer Prize for poetry and twice the US Poet Laureate), and he’s well-known for his poems about life in the middle of the country.

However, though he writes about farms and barns and fields and kitchens, Kooser isn’t embroidering nostalgic cliches or quaint memes of farm life. Instead, his poems wryly overturn these easy images and create fresh, surprising images from what some might perceive is a quiet life in Nebraska.

A Man with A Rake is for people who love poetry that is a pleasure to read. It’s for readers who like being transported to rural landscapes– to farms and sheds full of antique tools and hay forks, to stretches of wheat fields, warehouses, poultry houses and lonely gas stations. This book will thrill  Kooser fans and poetry collectors who want a slender, beautiful chapbook that they can savor in one sitting. People who love Jim Harrison and books about How-to-build-a-shed will love this, as well as people who would rather read than rake a pile of leaves.

Poet and critic Ed Hirsch wrote in The Washington Post that there is a “quiet amazement at the core of all Kooser’s work.” His verse is “an unadorned, pragmatic, quintessentially American poetry of empty places, of farmland and low-slung cities…”

Ted Kooser served two terms as US Poet Laureate and won the Pulitzer Prize for Delights & Shadows in 2004. The poet lives and writes on 62 acres of wooded hills and pasture in rural Nebraska. For many years Kooser worked at a desk in the life insurance business and then, after he retired he taught poetry writing at the University of Nebraska.

He is the author of fifteen books of poetry, five volumes of nonfiction, five children’s picture books, and seventeen chapbooks and special editions.  He served two terms as U.S. Poet Laureate and his 2004 collection of poems, Delights & Shadows, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize.  Prior to the publication of A Man with a Rake, his most recent collection of poems is Red Stilts, from Copper Canyon Press. More about his life, his work, and his many honors can be found at www.tedkooser.net.

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