Exciting news here at the University of Nebraska Press today: Publishers Weekly has named Ted Kooser's new book one of the top 20 indie publications of the fall season. Following is a press release detailing the specifics of this honor:
Publishers Weekly names Ted Kooser’s Lights on a Ground of Darkness among the top offerings this fall from independent presses
Lights on a Ground of Darkness, was listed among the “dazzling array of works” from independent publishers in the Aug. 31 issue of Publishers Weekly. PW describes Kooser’s writing as “precise” and “evocative.” The article notes that Kooser has said that writing this book, which is a memoir of the time Ted spent with his mother’s family when he was a little boy, was the most important work he has ever undertaken because it was his attempt to keep these beloved people alive against the relentless erosion of time.
More than a memoir of Ted's childhood, Lights on a Ground of Darkness is a remembrance of Ted's mother's immigrant parents, and the simple life they lived after they retired from farming and moved to run a Standard Oil filling station in Guttenberg, Iowa. The book is full of Ted's small memories: hunting for nightcrawlers with an uncle, throwing bottle caps over the roof of the Standard Oil station with his grandfather, games of cards with extended family, the cream an aunt used to bring when she came to visit. Ted also recounts larger, broader memories of his grandparents: the way they cared for and loved a grown son with cerebral palsy, the hard life they led and the simple pleasures they enjoyed, and the passage of time and eventual deaths of both family members and a way of life common to immigrants and descendents of immigrants in the Midwest in the middle of the 20th century.
The University of Nebraska Press will celebrate the publication of Lights on a Ground of Darkness at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 17, at W. Dale Clark Library, 215 South 15th St., in Downtown Omaha. Kooser will sign copies of his book at the event, which is free and open to the public.
About the author: Ted Kooser, winner of the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry and former U.S. poet laureate, is Presidential Professor of the University of Nebraska. He is the author of twelve books of poetry, including Valentines (Nebraska 2008) and The Blizzard Voices (available in a Bison Books edition). His award-winning prose book, Local Wonders: Seasons in the Bohemian Alps, is also available in a Bison Books edition.
About the University of Nebraska Press: Founded in 1941, the University of Nebraska Press (UNP) is a nonprofit scholarly and general interest press that publishes 160 new and reprint titles annually under the Nebraska and Bison Books imprints respectively, along with 20 journals. As the largest and most diversified university press between Chicago and California, with nearly 3,000 books in print, the University of Nebraska Press is best known for publishing works in Indigenous studies, history and literature of the American West, literary translation, and sports history. UNP has also had a long-standing dedication to making available the best literature from around the world, which helped earn the press the title of ForeWord Magazine’s Independent Press of the Year for 2008. With nearly 200 translated titles currently in print from five different languages, including two titles by J.M.G. Le Clézio, the 2008 winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, the number and breadth of translated titles has distinguished UNP as one of the largest, most active American publishers of translated work. UNP’s translations and other titles have won numerous awards.
A distinctive member of the University of Nebraska community, UNP supports the missions of research, teaching, and service. In addition, UNP's sustained commitment to publications on the peoples, culture, and heritage of Nebraska reflects decades of service to its home state. Learn more about UNP at www.nebraskapress.unl.edu.