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OR’s Poet Laureate Kim Stafford

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Date(s) - October 21, 2018
2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Cannon Beach Library


Oregon’s New Poet Laureate to Read at Cannon Beach Library

The Cannon Beach Library invites North Coast residents and visitors to hear Kim Stafford, Oregon’s newest poet laureate, read and discuss his writings at the library’s Northwest Authors Series, Sunday. October 21.

Stafford, an associate professor and founding director of the Northwest Writing Institute at Lewis and Clark College since 1978, has published a dozen books of poetry, stories and nonfiction. He also oversees the William Stafford collection at Lewis and Clark, where his father—also an Oregon poet laureate—taught from 1957 to 1980.

Noted for writings focused on natural environment, Native American heritage, folk culture and the daily lives of family and ordinary people in the West, Kim Stafford has worked as a writer in the schools, printer, photographer, and oral historian throughout Oregon, Washington, California and Idaho.

In appointing Stafford in May as Oregon’s poet laureate for a two-year term, Governor Kate Brown cited his literary contributions that he freely shares with the state in which he was born, raised, and has spent nearly his entire life, including time earning masters, bachelors, and doctoral degrees in English from the University of Oregon.

“There are many ways to serve this state and among them is clarity of language and passion of purpose, which may travel from one soul to another through poetry,” Governor Brown said. “Kim Stafford is one of our state’s most generous literary teachers and I am proud to appoint him as our next Poet Laureate.”

Stafford’s books of poetry include “A Gypsy’s History of the World” (1976); “The Granary: Poems” (1982), “Places and Stories” (1987) and “A Thousand Friends of Rain: New and Selected Poems” (1999) all published by Carnegie-Mellon University Press; “Apple Bough Soliloquy” (1995); “Oregon Pilgrimage in Green: A Forest Journal for My Brother” (2000); “Prairie Prescription” (2011); “Legacy of Beginning: Poems in Bhutan” (2013) and “Braided Apart” (1976) and “That Meeting Place: Poems” (1979), both written with his father William Stafford.

His nonfictional work includes two memoirs, “Early Morning: Remembering My Father, William Stafford” (2002), which received a Pacific Northwest Bookseller’s Award, and “A Hundred Tricks Every Boy Can Do: How My Brother Disappeared” (2012), published by Trinity University Press.

He also has written about Idaho folklore in “Rendezvous: Stories, Songs, and Opinions of the Idaho Country” (1982) and published several books of essays: ”Having Everything Right: Essays of Place” (1986), which received a Western States Book Citation of Excellence; “Lochsa Road: A Pilgrim in the West” (1991); “Entering the Grove,” with photography by Gary Braasch (1993).

The University of Georgia Press published Stafford’s guide for writers, “The Muse Among Us: Eloquent Listening and Other Pleasures of the Writer’s Craft” (2003).

His fictional writings include “Wind on the Waves: Stories from the Oregon Coast,” with photography by Ray Atkeson (1992); and a children’s book “We Got Here Together” (1994).

A folklorist, song writer and performing musician, Stafford has two CD’s to his name: “Wheel Made of Wind” (1997) and “Pilgrims at Home: Vagabond Songs” (2009). His website (www.kim-stafford.com) includes four examples of his songs.

His writings have appeared in more than 50 journals, little magazines and newspapers, including “Atlantic Monthly,” “Hudson Review,” “Kansas Quarterly,” “Kenyon Review” “Malahat Review,” “Midwest Quarterly,” “The Nation,” “North American Review,” “Northwest Review,” “Ohio Review,” “ Outside,” “Poetry Northwest,” “Portland Review,” “South Carolina Review,” “ Virginia Quarterly Review” and “Wisconsin Review.”

More recently Stafford has published a series of eleven small collections of poetry, fictional stories and nonfiction available inexpensively online through www.lulu.com. One of these, “The Flavor of Unity: Post-Election Poems,” now in its fifth edition and receiving national attention on PBS, represents Stafford’s response to the divisive 2016 presidential election. As he wrote in the “Preface”:

“In this little book, I gather considerations, poems, and blessings I have composed since the election, as I seek to understand the work we have to do if we are to be one people living together by kindness and responsibility again. After all, the way we think, speak, and act now will determine how we meet in the children yet to come.”

Stafford’s Northwest Authors Series presentation at 2 p.m., Sunday, October 21, at the Cannon Beach Library, 131 N. Hemlock St., is open and free to the public.