Join the worldwide birthday celebration honoring
the life and work of the late William Stafford,
Oregon’s most famous poet.
Oregon writers will read a Stafford poem,
as well as their own. Audience members are
invited to read a favorite Stafford poem.
On Saturday, January 21, 2012 at 2pm
At the Waldport Community Center
265 Hemlock St in Waldport, Oregon
& students from Seashore Family Literacy
Friends of the Waldport Public Library
& Friends of William Stafford
& hosted by Drew Myron
About the Event
This free event is in conjunction with The Friends of William Stafford, a nonprofit organization providing education in literature, particularly in poetry, in a way that will encourage readers, writers and those who aspire to find their own voice. Each year FWS sponsors over 50 poetry readings and presentations across the globe.
About William Stafford
William Stafford was one of America's most prolific poets, authoring more than 50 books in his 79 years. A favorite professor at Lewis and Clark College, where he taught for 30 years, he was appointed Oregon Poet Laureate in 1975 and also earned a National Book Award. He was known for his encouragement of other writers and for his advocacy of free expression in writing and speech.
A pacifist, Stafford was a conscientious objector during World War II. He was confined in Civilian Public Service work camps in Arkansas and California, where he did work for the U.S. Forest Service. For the following fifty years, Stafford included poems of pacifism and reconciliation in his readings.
Stafford believed that treasures were to be found beneath your feet, and that searching for things that fit together was to follow the "golden thread." About his own works, he once said, "I have woven a parachute out of everything broken."
He died of a heart attack in Lake Oswego, Oregon on August 28, 1993. He was 79.
You Reading This, Be Ready
Starting here, what do you want to remember?
How sunlight creeps along a shining floor?
What scent of old wood hovers, what softened
sound from outside fills the air?
Will you ever bring a better gift for the world
than the breathing respect that you carry
wherever you go right now? Are you waiting
for time to show you some better thoughts?
When you turn around, starting here, lift this
new glimpse that you found; carry into evening
all that you want from this day. This interval you spent
reading or hearing this, keep it for life —
What can anyone give you greater than now,
starting here, right in this room, when you turn around?