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Last Updated: Thursday, 12 August, 2004, 12:54 GMT 13:54 UK
Writer Kooser is US poet laureate
Ted Kooser
Kooser has had 10 volumes of poetry published
Poet Ted Kooser, described as a "major voice" of American poetry, has been made the new US poet laureate.

His appointment was due to be announced by the Librarian of Congress, James H Billington, on Thursday.

"Ted Kooser is a major poetic voice for rural and small town America and the first poet laureate chosen from the Great Plains," Mr Billington said.

Kooser, 65, from Lincoln, Nebraska replaces Pulitzer Prize winner Louise Gluck in the eight-month role.

Kooser has written 10 volumes of poetry, most recently one called Delights & Shadows, which was published earlier this year.

'Promoter of poetry'

"I really want to throw myself into this and do what I can to further people's interest in poetry," Kooser said on Wednesday.

"I see part of my job as being a promoter of poetry of all kinds."

The poet laureate has few set responsibilities, allowing them to concentrate on other projects. The laureate has an office at the Library of Congress, and a salary of $35,000 (19,440) a year.

Previous poet laureates have included Robert Frost, Gwendolyn Brooks and Rita Dove.

Kooser said he had spent his life trying to write poetry that people could easily understand.

"What I think poetry can do is give people fresh ways to look at the world," Kooser said. "I attempt in my poems to take ordinary things and look at them in a new light."

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