Friday, January 10, 2014

William Stafford Centennial


Everyone is born a poet—a person discovering the way words sound and work, caring and delighting in words. I just kept on doing what everyone starts out doing. The real question is: Why did other people stop? 
-William Stafford 


2014 marks the 100 year anniversary of the birth of renowned Oregon poet William Stafford. In keeping with the year-long celebration, the Oregon Library Association’s Everybody Reads 2014 program will focus on Stafford’s work, highlighting four titles: Ask Me: 100 Poems; Early Morning: Remembering My Father, William Stafford; Down in My Heart: Witness in Wartime; and The Osange Tree. (William Stafford’s son Kim Stafford,also a professor at Lewis & Clark, came to Newport Library in 2011 to speak about Down in My Heart, the book chosen for the 2011 Newport Reads program.) 


Stafford’s second published collection of poetry, Traveling Through the Dark, won the National Book Award for Poetry in 1963. His poems, described by some as “plain-spoken,” often invoke the natural world and the process of exploration and discovery at the periphery. Stafford noted that the houses he lived in during his boyhood in Kansas were usually on the outskirts of town, and further on existed "adventure, fields forever, or rivers that wended off over the horizon, forever. And in the center of town was a library, another kind of edge out there forever, to explore." Come to the Newport Library, our very own edge of forever, to discover or revisit the work of an important voice.

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