Linfield reading to celebrate author William Stafford

William StaffordLinfield College will host the annual William Stafford memorial poetry reading Tuesday, Jan. 11, at 7 p.m. in the Austin Reading Room of the Jereld R. Nicholson Library.

Stafford, one of Oregon’s most famous authors, was a professor at Lewis and Clark College where he taught for 30 years. Known for his encouragement of other writers and his advocacy for freedom of expression in writing and speech, Stafford was the author of more than 50 books. He was also the recipient of the National Book Award. He died in August 1993.

The reading is part of an extensive program coordinated by the Friends of William Stafford which each year celebrates the birthday of the famous poet by working with a variety of venues to sponsor multiple poetry readings and presentations throughout Oregon, Washington and other areas. The readings feature five or six readers, usually local poets, each of whom reads a Stafford poem and one of their own written in the spirit of Stafford’s work.

Featured readers at Linfield will be event co-hosts Lex Runciman, Linfield professor of English, and Barbara Drake, professor emeritus of English. Poets Chris Anderson, Mark Thalman, Bill Siverly and Joanna Rose will also read. Members of the audience are invited to read a favorite Stafford poem or tell a personal anecdote about the late Oregon poet laureate.

The Friends of William Stafford is a non-profit poetry advocacy organization that, by keeping alive Stafford’s gift as a teacher and devotion to freedom of expression, provides ongoing education in literature. For its commitment to promote the reading, writing and enjoyment of all literature, The Friends of William Stafford received the 2001 Whiting Memorial Award for public service to the arts from the International Society of Philosophical Enquiry.

This event is free and open to the public. The lecture is sponsored by Friends of Nicholson Library. For more information, contact Susan Barnes Whyte, college librarian, at 503-883-2517 or