Deschutes Public Library News
Celebrate Oregon's Most Famous Poet
Posted By: Liz Goodrich
Date Posted: 1/1/2004
On Sunday, January 11, at 2:00 p.m. in the Library Admin Conference Room (507 NW Wall) Deschutes Public Library hosts a poetry reading celebrating Oregon's most famous poet William Stafford. The public is invited to attend this free event. Stafford’s daughter Kit, will be on hand for the annual celebration.
The events, known as "birthday parties," feature local poets and writers reading Stafford’s poems as well as excerpts written in the spirit of Stafford from their own, original works. This year, featured poets and writers include Kake Huck, John Martin, Dorothy Leman, Peter Lovering and Robert Currie. Judith Montgomery will host the event. Following the readings, members of the audience are invited to join in the celebration by reading a favorite Stafford poem or telling a personal anecdote about the late Oregon poet laureate. The Book Barn will have selected Stafford works for sale following the readings and the Library will provide coffee and “birthday cookies.”
Stafford was born in Hutchinson, KS, on January 17, 1914. Now one of America’s most celebrated poets, Stafford was a favorite professor at Lewis and Clark College during his 30 years there. Known for his encouragement of other writers, Stafford is the author of more than fifty books of poetry and essays. He died in 1993.
According to Paulann Petersen of the Friends of William Stafford Executive Board, more than 35 readings are planned statewide, featuring more than 100 invited poets. The Friends of William Stafford is a nonprofit poetry-advocacy organization dedicated to keeping alive Stafford’s gift as a teacher devoted to all types of free expression. For more information, please call 312-1032.