Deschutes Public Library News
Happy Birthday William Stafford
Posted By: Liz Goodrich
Date Posted: 1/18/2005
In honor of Oregon’s most famous poet laureate, Deschutes Public Library will host a poetry reading celebrating Stafford’s “birthday” on Sunday, January 23, at 2:00 p.m. in the Library Admin Conference Room at 507 NW Wall. The public is invited to attend this free event. Stafford’s daughter Kit, will be on had 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 Karen Huck will serve as Mistress of Ceremonies. Featured poets and writers include Peter Lovering, John Brown, Stephen Ledyard, and Ellen Santasiero. 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 Joseph A. Soldati, Chair of the Friends of William Stafford Board of Trustees, of the 46 reading planned across the country, 33 are in Oregon, and feature more than 200 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 visit Deschutes Public Library at www.dpls.us or call 312-1032.