He is the author of eleven collections of poetry, including Splitting an Order (2014); Delights & Shadows (2004), which won the Pulitzer Prize in 2005; Winter Morning Walks: One Hundred Postcards to Jim Harrison (2000), which won the 2001 Nebraska Book Award for poetry; Weather Central (1994); One World at a Time (1985); and Sure Signs (1980).
His fiction and non-fiction books include The Poetry Home Repair Manual: Practical Advice for Beginning Poets (2007); Braided Creek: A Conversation in Poetry (2003) written with fellow poet and longtime friend, Jim Harrison; and Local Wonders: Seasons in the Bohemian Alps (2002), which won the Nebraska Book Award for Nonfiction in 2003. His honors and awards include two NEA fellowships in poetry, a Pushcart Prize, the Stanley Kunitz Prize from Columbia, and a Merit Award from the Nebraska Arts Council. In the fall of 2004, Kooser was appointed the Library of Congress’s thirteenth Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry.
He is Presidential Professor in the English department at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He lives on an acreage near the village of Garland, NE.