Parties honor Oregon poet

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - William Stafford

Oregon’s late, nationally and internationally acclaimed poet William Stafford will be honored and the hundredth year of his birth celebrated throughout 2014 in a variety of events, activities and programs in Oregon and the Northwest, in other states and in foreign countries.

And, as they have done for the past 14 years, local and regional poets and writers, artists and musicians will present throughout January a variety of events known formally as the William Stafford Birthday Commemorative Readings and informally as the “Stafford Birthday Parties.”

Sponsored by the Friends of William Stafford and, this year, by other organizations as well, the birthday parties and centennial events will be held in libraries, bookstores and art galleries, on college campuses, in cafés, churches, hospitals, and other venues. The parties are free to the public, although some of the centennial events require registration and payment of a small fee.

The Lake Oswego Reads 2014 program will focus on the works of William Stafford. The official kickoff of the program will be Jan. 7 at the Lake Oswego Public Library. Complimentary copies of the new book “Ask Me: 100 Essential Poems by William Stafford” will be distributed to library card holders, thanks to the Friends of the Lake Oswego Public Library.

The steering committee for Lake Oswego Reads is presently developing programs for February that tie into William Stafford. Some of the plans include a walk to the Stafford Stones, a panel discussion with Barbara Stafford-Wilson, Kit Stafford and Kim Stafford, a visit to the Stafford Archives at Lewis & Clark College Aubrey Watzek Library, a screening of the film “Every War Has Two Losers” with the filmmaker and poetry boxes erected around Lake Oswego. Kim Stafford will speak Feb. 13 for Lake Oswego Reads.

A year-long centennial event (Jan. 1-Dec. 31) is Oregon Reads 2014 sponsored by the Oregon Library Association whose more than 200 libraries invite all Oregonians to read selections of Stafford’s works.

For a complete list of the programs and events, visit

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