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Ted Kooser: More Than a Local Wonder


Long before he became United States Poet Laureate and an award-winning author of books for adults and children, Ted Kooser was an unathletic Iowa child who yearned to fit in. Young Teddy Kooser found solace, purpose and his voice in stories. As a child and later while working in the insurance industry, Ted honed his craft and unique style as he wrote about the people and places of the rural Midwest. Ted’s life is an affirmation of pursuing one’s passions and finding oneself through words.

Meet illustrator Paula Wallace at

“Carla Ketner’s captivating, lyrical style beautifully illustrates Ted Kooser’s life––from small-town misfit to America’s poet laureate––with grace, wonder, and, above all, heart.”—Jill Esbaum, author of Little Kids First Big Book of How


About Ted Kooser

Former U.S. Poet Laureate Ted Kooser lives in Garland, Nebraska. Ted is the author of numerous books of poetry and essays, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning Delights and Shadows and a book of essays about the area in which he lives, Local Wonders: Seasons in the Bohemian Alps. He is also the author of four picture books. A former vice president of Lincoln Benefit Life, he is a retired professor at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln.

To learn more about Ted, visit his official website,

Photo credit Suzanne Ohlmann.


Chapters Books & Gifts is privileged to be able to offer personalized signed copies of Ted's books. 


Local Wonders: Seasons in the Bohemian Alps by Ted Kooser

Ted Kooser describes with exquisite detail and humor the place he calls home in the rolling hills of southeastern Nebraska—an area known as the Bohemian Alps. Nothing is too big or too small for his attention. Memories of his grandmother’s cooking are juxtaposed with reflections about the old-fashioned outhouse on his property.

In the end, what makes life meaningful for Kooser are the ways in which his neighbors care for one another and how an afternoon walking with an old dog, or baking a pie, or decorating the house for Christmas can summon memories of his Iowa childhood. This writer is a seer in the truest sense of the word, discovering the extraordinary within the ordinary, the deep beneath the shallow, the abiding wisdom in the pithy Bohemian proverbs that are woven into his essays.

Book no.1
Book no.2
Book no.3
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