Ken Lauter


4310 Friar Tuck Dr.
Nacogdoches, TX 75965

Author's Bio

Approaching 70,I still hunger to improve at what Chaucer calls “the craft so longe to learne,” by which he meant both poetry and love-- and my primary life raft, though a bit battered after years at sea, still consists of those utterly ephemeral yet steel-strong things: words.

After resigning from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1964-- both because of my opposition to the Vietnam war and the discovery that I was more interested in Shakespeare than ships-- I studied first with Dan Jaffe at the University of Missouri at Kansas City and then with Donald Hall (US Poet Laureate 2005-06) at Michigan.

My early work has been compared to Robert Lowell’s, and distinguished poet William Meredith (Poetry Consultant, Library of Congress, 1978-80) has said that my poetry displays “a splendid and various gift.”

My plays include The Dancing Apsárás, or Captain Willard’s Blues (a prequel/sequel to Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now) and Knowing Their Names, a one-act farce in honor of legendary British actor/director/dramatist Steven Berkoff.

In addition to teaching poetry writing and literature atfour universities, I've worked as mayor's aide in economic development in St. Louis and as an environmental activist in Tucson.

Publications & Prizes

Searching for Mr. Stevens (Xlibris, 2012)
Grand Canyon Days (Xlibris, 2011)
Songs from Walnut Canyon (Xlibris, 2011)
The Ghosts - Notes from a Field Study (Xlibris, 2009)
Before the Light (BkMk Press-UMKC, 1987)
The Other Side (BkMk Press-UMKC, 1973)
Prizes won: 

a Major Hopwood Award for poetry, an American Academy of Poets Prize, and a Shubert Playwriting Fellowship.

Personal Favorites

What I'm reading now: 
All of Us - The Collected Poems by Raymond Carver, Intervale - New and Selected Poems by Betty Adcock, Drive, they Said - Poems about Americans and their Cars by Kurt Brown, editor, New and Selected Poems by William Stafford, Sex at Dawn - The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality by Christopher Ryan & Cacilda Jethá

More Information

Gives readings: 
Travels for readings: 
Identifies as: 
English American
Prefers to work with: 
Fluent in: 
Born in: 
Kansas City
Raised in: 
Kansas City, MO
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Last update: Dec 20, 2011