Know Stafford Statewide Kickoff

Posted By:  Liz Goodrich
Date Posted:  1/8/2014

Deschutes Public Library is pleased to host the state-wide kickoff for the 2014 Oregon Reads yearlong celebration of Oregon’s most famous poet, William Stafford. Stafford, who would have marked his 100th birthday on January 17th, was Oregon’s Poet Laureate from 1975-1990. The event is free and open to the public.

January 11, 2014 • 2:00 p.m. • Downtown Bend Library

Stafford, born in Hutchinson, Kansas, had his first collection of poetry published when he was 48 years old. Traveling Through the Dark won the 1963 National Book Award for Poetry. Despite his late start, he was a frequent contributor to magazines and anthologies and eventually published 57 volumes of poetry. He retired from Lewis & Clark College in 1980 but continued to write, travel and share his poetry. He won the Western States Book Award in 1992 for lifetime achievement in poetry. Often compared to Robert Frost, his poems are typically short, accessible and rich in detail.

The kick-off event will include two of Stafford’s children, Kim and Kit Stafford, and close family friend and local author, Jarold Ramsey. Additionally, students from the Americana Project will perform original songs based on Stafford’s poetry.

For more information about other celebrations across the state, please visit the Oregon Reads 2014 website at

For more information about this or other library programs, please visit the library website at People with disabilities needing accommodations (alternative formats, seating or auxiliary aides) should contact Liz at 312-1032.

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