A poetry reading celebrating and commemorating Oregon’s late poet laureate, William Stafford, will be held Tuesday, Jan. 12, at 7:30 p.m. in the Austin Reading Room at the Jereld R. Nicholson Library at Linfield College.
The reading is part of an extensive program coordinated by the Friends of William Stafford (FWS) which each year celebrates the birthday of Oregon’s most famous poet, working with a variety of venues to sponsor multiple poetry readings and presentations throughout Oregon, Washington and beyond.
Different from most poetry readings, these popular “parties” feature five or six readers, usually local poets, each of whom will read a Stafford poem and one of their own written in the spirit of Stafford’s work. Some events also include speakers who address a topic related to Stafford and his work.
Featured readers at Linfield this year are authors and co-hosts Lex Runciman, Linfield professor of English, and Barbara Drake, Linfield professor emerita, Tim Applegate, Mark Thalman, Noel Hanlon, Tayler Brisbin, and Linfield students Ansley Clark and Beth Satterwhite. After the featured participants’ presentations, members of the audience are then invited to read a favorite Stafford poem or to tell a personal anecdote about the late Oregon poet laureate.
William Stafford was born on January 17, 1914. A favorite professor at Lewis and Clark College, where he taught for 30 years, he remains one of America’s most celebrated poets. Known for his encouragement of other writers and for his advocacy of free expression in writing and speech, Stafford is the author of more than 50 books and a recipient of the National Book Award. He died in August 1993.
The Friends of William Stafford is a non-profit poetry-advocacy organization that, by keeping alive Stafford’s gift as a teacher devoted to all types of free expression, provides ongoing education in literature, particularly in poetry, in ways that will encourage and broaden the community of readers and writers. FWS also supports and helps to underwrite a variety of literary projects and events open to the public. FWS received the 2001 Whiting Memorial Award for public service to the arts from the International Society of Philosophical Enquiry.
The reading, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by the Friends of William Stafford and Linfield College. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com, or call 503-883-2517.