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Ted Kooser's Heartland Poetry

Ted Kooser (NPR)

When former U.S. poet laureate Ted Kooser’s mother was dying, he wanted to show her how much he had loved the life they had shared.

So he did what a poet does. He wrote, from his Nebraska perch, about a life growing up in Iowa — the fields, people, family, pinocle games.

It’s an evocation, and a kind of love letter to the center of the country and his family’s place in it. He’s encouraging us all to write our own American family histories.

-Tom Ashbrook

**NOTE: This show was first broadcast Sept. 17, 2009.

Guest:

Ted Kooser, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and former U.S. poet laureate. His memoir is “Lights on a Ground of Darkness.” You can read an excerpt here (pdf).

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Aug 28, 2015
WDBJ-TV7 meteorologist Leo Hirsbrunner, right, wipes his eyes during the early morning newscast as anchors Kimberly McBroom, center, and guest anchor Steve Grant deliver the news at the station in Roanoke, Va., Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015. Reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward were killed during a live broadcast Wednesday, while on assignment in Moneta. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

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Aug 28, 2015
Lightning first ignited the Meadow fire on July 20, 2014 in Yosemite. By September 8, the fire had charred 2,582 acres. Bernie Krause has recorded soundscapes of national parks destroyed by large areas of forest fires. Listen below.  (National Park Service)

A legendary natural sound collector shares his recordings. We’ll listen in.

 
Aug 28, 2015
WDBJ-TV7 meteorologist Leo Hirsbrunner, right, wipes his eyes during the early morning newscast as anchors Kimberly McBroom, center, and guest anchor Steve Grant deliver the news at the station in Roanoke, Va., Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015. Reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward were killed during a live broadcast Wednesday, while on assignment in Moneta. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

A deadly shooting on live TV. Wall Street’s roller coaster ride. Biden considers a White House bid. 10 years since Katrina.

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