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Breathing in the Fullness of Time

William Kloefkorn

Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
Imprint: University of Nebraska Press
Published: 05/2019
Pages: 244
Subject: Biography and Autobiography
eBook ISBN: 9781496210166


The “tell-all” memoir takes on new meaning in the work of poet William Kloefkorn, whose accounts of the moments and movements of life touch on everything that matters, the prosaic and the profound, the extraordinary in the everyday, and the familiar in the new and strange. The fourth and final installment in Kloefkorn’s reflections, Breathing in the Fullness of Time, departs from the elements ruling the other volumes—water, fire, and earth—and floats its insights and observations, its memories and anecdotes on the now wild, now whispering element of air.   “Kloefkorn is a consummate storyteller,” Publishers Weekly has said, noting his “keen eye and a gift for language that is beautiful in its simplicity.” In this final volume, the poet uses those skills and his characteristically droll sense of humor to recapture time that, once experienced, is never really lost. His remembrances include a foray into college football, a stint in the Marines, a drift in a twelve-foot johnboat on the Loup River, learning to get a hog’s attention, marriage at last to a childhood sweetheart, a sojourn in California, and a return to Nebraska to teach. The moments, large and small, sad and funny and fine, multiply to become a moving picture of life caught in the act of passing by.


William Kloefkorn (1932–2011) was an emeritus professor of English at Nebraska Wesleyan University and Nebraska’s state poet. The earlier volumes in this four-part memoir, This Death by Drowning, Restoring the Burnt Child: A Primer, and At Home on this Moveable Earth, are published by the University of Nebraska Press.


“With homespun candor and hard-won recognition, Kloefkorn’s reveries reveal the persuasive benediction of a life well lived.”—Booklist

"Nothing attracts a reader to a book like humor and charm, both of which this author exhibits in abundance. . . . What makes this volume so gratifying is how the essays span a complete life and are integrated into a cohesive whole. The language and phrasing, the poetry that is woven through the book, the images and description, and his humor weave the stories together and provide the reader with a deeply satisfying reading experience."—Aline Soules, ForeWord magazine

"I don't know anyone who would not love this book."—Charles Stephen, Lincoln Journal Star