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Hallmark Writers Get Advice from Poet Laureate

Ted Kooser, at his home in Nebraska.
Ted Kooser, at his home in Nebraska.

Ted Kooser, the nation's poet laureate, has been traveling around the country talking to librarians, school children and other groups about poetry. One of his stops was in Kansas City, Mo., where he led a workshop with some of Hallmark's greeting card writers.

In their jobs, they may create sympathy cards or compose verse summing up the key to a happy marriage. But on this day, they got to talk about the craft of writing with Kooser, who offered gentle but pointed critique.

And back at his office at the Library of Congress in Washington, Kooser discusses his most recent book, The Poetry Home Repair Manual, which offers practical advice for beginning poets.

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As special correspondent and guest host of NPR's news programs, Melissa Block brings her signature combination of warmth and incisive reporting. Her work over the decades has earned her journalism's highest honors, and has made her one of NPR's most familiar and beloved voices.