Celebrating Oregon's legendary poet


Last updated 1/23/2024 at 9:40am

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William Stafford.

Paulina Springs Books will host a gathering and poetry open mic in honor of beloved poet William Stafford on Wednesday, January 31, at 6:30 p.m. This January would have seen Stafford's 110th birthday, and the community is invited to gather in celebration of his life and legacy.

William Stafford spent much of his life in Oregon and taught at Lewis and Clark College for over 30 years. His first major collection of poems, "Traveling Through the Dark," published when Stafford was 48, won the National Book Award in 1963. He went on to publish more than 65 volumes of poetry and prose. Stafford served as Oregon Poet Laureate and as Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress, a position that is now known as Poet Laureate. Stafford is beloved around these parts and around the world.

According to the Friends of William Stafford website, http://www.williamstafford.org,

"Each year, mostly in January leading up to and following Mr. Stafford's birthday, celebrations occur around the globe in honor of his work, teachings and legacy."

Friends of William Stafford is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to raising awareness of poetry and literature in the spirit of William Stafford's life, legacy and work.

Featured local readers will share their favorite Stafford poems along with favorite stories about him. Following featured readers, there will be a poetry open mic in which folks are invited to share one or two poems. Poems for open mic can be favorite Stafford poems or the reader's own work. Sign-ups for the open mic will begin at 6 p.m. Light refreshments will be served. Featured readers will include Jay Bowerman, Dick Falxa, Dennis Schmidling, and Beth Wood.

Paulina Springs Books is located at 252 W. Hood Ave. For more information call 541-549-0866.


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