U.S. Poet Laureate Ted Kooser to visit Hawaii

Kooser to share his poetry in a series of readings and workshops from November 6-10

Windward Community College
Posted: Oct 5, 2006

A jar of buttons. . . a sleeping cat . . . a rainy morning. For Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Ted Kooser, it‘s these small, everyday moments that connect us as human beings and provide inspiration for his work.

Kooser will be in Hawaiʻi from Nov. 6 — 10, 2006 to teach, talk story and share his poetry in a series of readings and workshops — a rare opportunity for writers, teachers, students and people of all backgrounds to hear from the U.S. Poet Laureate for 2004-2006.

The series, called "Kooser Week in Hawaiʻi," is being coordinated by Windward Community College, the UH Distinguished Lecture Series, the Windward Arts Council and the Volcano Arts Center on the Big Island.

Kooser‘s focus in Hawaiʻi — as in other parts of the country when he was Poet Laureate — will be to connect with writers and teachers as well as ordinary people who might consider poetry too abstract or obscure.

"I want to reach people who have felt excluded from poetry," Kooser explains. "Poetry is about the small moments in life that matter. I want to help people discover that.

"I‘m for any way you can get people interested in poetry — slam poetry, rap poetry. I think those are doors through which people can enter. I‘m for holding them all open."

The schedule for Kooser Week in Hawaiʻi includes:

· Monday, Nov. 6 - Ted Kooser: A Reading and Conversation, 7 p.m., UH-Mānoa Campus Center Ballroom. Free.

· Tuesday, Nov. 7 (Election Day holiday) - Do-It-Yourself Poetry: A Session for Writers with Ted Kooser, 2-4 p.m., Windward Community College. $25, workshop only; $35 for workshop and book, "The Poetry Home Repair Manual."

· Wednesday, Nov. 8 - Kooser Poetry Reading, 7 p.m., KMC Theatre, Volcanoes National Park, Big Island.

· Thursday, Nov. 9 - Local Wonders: Poetry and Place, a reading and conversation with Ted Kooser on finding inspiration in everyday life and the land around us — our local wonders. 7 p.m. at WCC‘s Palikū Theatre. Free.

· Friday, Nov. 10 (Veterans‘ Day holiday) - What Makes Poetry? (And Why Teachers Should Care), 8:30 a.m. — 2 p.m., workshop with Ted Kooser at WCC. Registration includes lunch and two books, "The Poetry Home Repair Manual" and "How to Eat a Poem." $40 by Oct. 27; $50 after that date. Professional development credits (PDERI) are available for DOE teachers as Event 1779. Scholarships are being offered on a first-come, first-served basis to teachers registering for PDERI credits. NOTE: The first session for PDERI participants is Oct. 21.

For the Friday workshop, Ted Kooser will be assisted by Poets-in-the Schools founder Eric Chock, Le Jardin Academy teacher Susan Lee St. John, author Sue Cowing, Iolani School teacher Kate Godwin, and UH professor Joe Stanton.

Kooser Week coordinator and Windward Community College English professor Lillian Cunningham said, "We‘re thrilled to have someone of Ted Kooser‘s literary stature visiting Hawaiʻi. He has a gift for connecting with people through poetry and his own comfortable style. "This series of events highlights the importance of the arts and their connection to our own lives. We think students, writers, teachers and people of all ages and backgrounds will enjoy hearing what Ted has to say."

Other major sponsors of Kooser Week include The Cooke Foundation, the Honolulu Advertiser, the Hawaiʻi Council for the Humanities, Starbucks Coffee Hawaiʻi, Star Poets, the Hawaiʻi Literary Arts Council, the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts, Iolani School and BookEnds in Kailua. For more details and registration information, visit library.wcc.hawaii.edu/kooser or call 236-9236.

For more information, visit: http://library.wcc.hawaii.edu/kooser