Endowed in perpetuity by the Glenna Luschei Fund for Excellence

February 2021

"Lived in the Half-Light, the Twilight": An Interview with Ted Kooser

by Laine Derr

When asked about poetry, Ted Kooser, former Poet Laureate of the United States, responds, “One important objective for me is to write clearly and accessibly.” 

His writing reminds me of youthful days spent on my grandparents’ farm in Oregon, picking raspberries, having meals under a weeping willow, its shadow brushing slowly across our picnic table. 

“Anybody can write a poem that nobody can understand,” Kooser continues, “but what’s the point in that?”  

Laine Derr: You write of memories that you will hold onto forever, stories shadowed in mystery.  If it is not too much to ask, would you care to share a memory that still visits you from time to time?