William Kloefkorn

William Charles "Bill" Kloefkorn (August 12, 1932 – May 19, 2011),[1][2] was a Nebraska poet and educator based in Lincoln, Nebraska. He was the author of twelve collections of poetry, two short story collections, a collection of children's Christmas stories, and four memoirs. Additionally Kloefkorn was professor emeritus of English at Nebraska Wesleyan University.

Kloefkorn was born in Attica, Kansas and obtained bachelor's and master's degrees from Emporia State University in Emporia, Kansas, and did additional graduate work at the University of Kansas and the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Prior to teaching at Nebraska Wesleyan, Kloefkorn taught at Wichita State University and at Ellinwood High School in Ellinwood, Kansas.

In 1982, Kloefkorn was appointed State Poet of Nebraska, a position roughly equivalent to Poet Laureate. (In 1921, the Nebraska Legislature permanently bestowed the title of Poet Laureate of Nebraska on John Neihardt, who died in 1973. A successor to this title has not been named.) Kloefkorn died in Lincoln, Nebraska. He was succeeded as State Poet by his student Twyla Hansen in 2013.[3]

In addition to his literary honors, Kloefkorn boasted that he won first place in the 1978 Nebraska Hog-Calling Championship.[1]

An elementary school in Lincoln is named after Kloefkorn.[2]

Selected publications



  1. 1 2 Pichaske, David (2001). Greasley, Philip A., ed. Dictionary of Midwestern Literature: The authors. Indiana University Press. pp. 300–301. Retrieved 2011-05-19.
  2. 1 2 Lange-Kubick, Cindy (2011-05-19). "Nebraska loses state poet Bill Kloefkorn". Lincoln Journal-Star. Retrieved 2011-05-19.
  3. "Lincoln Woman Named State Poet". Lincoln Journal Star. 2013-11-14. Retrieved 2013-12-10.
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