Many events planned

by: STAFF PHOTOS: VERN UYTETAKE - Kim Stafford, William Staffords son and literary executor, welcomed the crowd at the kickoff event Jan. 7. Nearly 1,000 books were distributed to attendees.

The eighth annual Lake Oswego Reads program kicked off Jan. 7 with a book distribution reception at the Lake Oswego Public Library.

“It was better than we ever dreamed possible,” said Cyndie Glazer, LO Reads organizer. “All of Oregon is celebrating the centennial of William Stafford, who was a member of our community, and a nationally known poet. This was the perfect tribute to Stafford’s accomplishments. And it was so meaningful to have his son, Kim Stafford, deliver the welcome.”

Guests were served carrot cake, Stafford’s favorite dessert, and enjoyed fiddle music and viewed quilts and other fabric art pieces inspired by Stafford’s poems.

“It was a great, happy party,” Glazer said. “I think a lot of new people attended. We couldn’t do Lake Oswego Reads without the support of our title sponsor, the Friends of the Lake Oswego Library, and the Lake Oswego Review.”

At the event all but a dozen of 1,000 copies of “Ask Me” were passed out, courtesy of the Friends of the Lake Oswego Library. LO Reads participants are encouraged to read “Ask Me,” a book of 100 William Stafford poems edited by Kim Stafford, and then attend the many events planned around the book. “Ask Me” can be borrowed on a Kindle or in paperback form from the Lake Oswego Public Library, 706 Fourth St.

One of the first LO Reads events will take place 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Jan. 22 when illustrator Dennis Cunningham will display the 24 block illustrations he created for William Stafford’s short story “The Osage Orange Tree” in the Streff Gallery in Shoen Library on the Marylhurst University campus.

Though best known for his block prints, Cunningham is a multi-talented artist. He started his career as a painter and regularly teaches class in metal sculpture, two-dimensional design and pastel drawing at Marylhurst.

In addition, the quilting and other fabric art projects inspired by Stafford’s love of nature are on display through the month of February in the atrium of the Lake Oswego Public Library.

Jeremy Skinner will speak on William Stafford’s life as a writer as the guest speaker at Oswego Heritage Council’s First Wednesday Speakers Series. The event will be held from 7 to 8 p.m. Feb. 5 at Oswego Heritage House, 398 10th St. in Lake Oswego. Skinner will share what he learned while developing the recently published master work “William Stafford: An Annotated Bibliography.” He will share never before seen photos and letter of Stafford’s.

Most Lake Oswego Reads events are free and open to the public. The complete schedule is available online at

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