Robert Koehler Bio

Robert Koehler

Robert Koehler is a nationally recognized award-winning journalist, fiction writer and poet whose essays and columns have appeared in numerous newspapers and magazines and on public radio and the Internet.

Koehler's column is intensely political without being trapped in partisan politics. It is about values and meaning, back-lit with reverence for life, exploring emotional territory journalism often avoids but readers hunger to read about. Response to the column is often powerful. One reader described it as "blatantly relevant."

Robert Koehler has won numerous writing and journalism awards over a 30-year career, at the national, state and local levels. He is currently a regular contributor to such high-profile Web sites as the Huffington Post, Common Dreams, OpEd News and TruthOut; and is a sought-after speaker on such topics as election fraud and the nature of peace. Eschewing political labels, he considers himself a "peace journalist."

Koehler has been an editor at Tribune Media Services since 1995 and a syndicated columnist since 1999. For many years before that he was a reporter, columnist and copy desk chief at Lerner Newspapers, a chain of neighborhood and suburban newspapers in the Chicago area.

Robert Koehler has earned a master's degree in creative writing from Columbia College and taught writing at both the college and high school levels. Most satisfyingly, he developed innovative approaches to teaching writing to young people at several high schools on Chicago's West Side under the auspices of the Chicago Teachers Center.

Born in Detroit and raised in suburban Dearborn, Koehler has been slowly making his way west. After 10 years in Kalamazoo, Mich., where he attended Western Michigan University, he moved to Chicago in 1976 where he still lives.

Koehler is a widower and single parent. He explores both conditions at great depth in his writing.

Robert Koehler Samples

Democracy's most cherished act

Democracy! I still feel the force of this word, though the middle syllable -- "mock" -- grows increasingly dominant when I hear it, especially now, as election season rolls around again. Words fail me. Pardon me while I quote Nietzsche. "God is dead.

One My Lai a month

"When somebody asks, 'Why do you do it to a g--k, why do you do this to people?' your answer is, 'So what, they're just g--ks, they're not people. "And this thing is built into you," Cpl. The cornerstone of war is dehumanization.

Our souls turned into weapons

"During basic training, we are weaponized: our souls turned into weapons."

Sweden and the wakening of eco-integrity

Startling news: Sweden now recycles 99 percent of its waste. At least that's what people are saying, including an official website of Sweden itself: "Less than one per cent of Sweden's household waste ends up in a rubbish dump."

The cancer of violent extremism

"As we look to the future, one issue risks a cycle of conflict that could derail so much progress. The cancer of violent extremism . . . I listen to the president's words and stare into the void.

Headline

How's your old man? "For the first time since he died/Late last night I cried..." I had never, for instance, felt so willing to share my father with the rest of the world --not since preadolescence, anyway.

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