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Crowd enjoys desserts, Kim Stafford's address

by: VERN UYETAKE - Kim Stafford, son of William Stafford, was the guest speaker Feb. 13 in the Lake Oswego High School auditorium at the dessert and discussion for Lake Oswego Reads.More than 500 people attended the dessert and discussion held at Lake Oswego High School cafeteria and auditorium Feb. 13 for Lake Oswego Reads.

Dessert was served by Lake Oswego Women’s Club in the cafeteria prior to the author’s talk. Kim Stafford, son of poet William Stafford and guest speaker at the event, discussed his father’s daily writing practice and how the discipline led to a life of compassion and witness.

“Kim Stafford’s presentation was an excellent combination of poetry reading, stories and inspiration,” said Kristy Aalberg, an English teacher at LOHS. “I left the auditorium not only with a deeper respect for William Stafford and his work, but also with a renewed desire to write my own poetry and to live a life of love and peace. I think the late Mr. Stafford would be pleased. It was a great night.”

Terry Huber, president of the Friends of the Library, agreed. “William Stafford’s poems came alive when Kim read them and his comments after each poem was read gave new insight into William Stafford’s character and thought process,” he said. “Truly a wonderful evening and I am inspired to start my own journal of daily writings.”

“This has been yet another amazing month thanks to the quality of the programs, the planning of our steering committee and most of all by the participation of our community,” Lake Oswego Library Director Bill Baars said. “Kim’s talk at the high school provided an evening that will remain indelible for those of us who attended. It was truly a night for the ages, and it exemplified the goals we established for the Lake Oswego Reads program.

“How perfect that a discussion of the social, political and humanitarian themes in the work of Lake Oswego’s William Stafford be led by such a wonderful teacher as his son Kim, himself a writer of great insight and depth.

“Once again, we have been able to celebrate and discuss the things that tie us together and define our sense of community. Kim Stafford’s presentation was a highlight of this year and of the eight years of this program.”

Tualatin Valley Community TV taped the presentation by Kim Stafford and will post the broadcast schedule on lakeoswegoreads.org next week.  Also, the library will have DVD copies of the presentation that can be checked out in mid-March.

The Lake Oswego Reads program concludes next week with a variety of events.

Barb Randall can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and 503-636-1281, ext. 100. Follow her on Twitter, @barbatthereview.




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