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Poet From the Plains

Ted Kooser, a 65-year-old Midwesterner and former life insurance executive, makes his first public appearance tonight as poet laureate when he opens the Library of Congress’ literary season. Kooser, who has published 10 volumes of poetry, succeeds Louise Gluck as the nation’s poet in chief. His distinctly simple style of verse has earned him many fans, including his friend and fellow Nebraskan, former Sen. Bob Kerrey (D), who said of Kooser’s work, “It’s like being home when you read it.”

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