Ted Kooser lives and writes on 62 acres of wooded hills and pasture in rural Nebraska with his wife, Kathleen Rutledge, a retired editor of the Lincoln Journal Star. None of their property is farmed and is instead left to an abundance of wildlife. For many years Kooser worked at a desk in the life insurance business, retired at 60, and for fifteen years taught poetry writing in the graduate program of 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.