News Release 07-091-D
4-6, Sunday, January 27
Oregon poet laureate’s verse lives on at Oakland library
News Release 07-091-D For more information:
Release date:01/17/08 Bentley Gilbert
For immediate release (541) 440-7747
A poetry reading celebrating and commemorating Oregon’s late poet laureate William Stafford will take place Sunday, January 27, from 4 to 6 pm in the Oakland Public Library.
William Stafford was poet laureate of Oregon from 1975 to 1990. Stafford was on the faculty of Lewis and Clark College in Portland. He continued to write, publishing 80 volumes of poetry, prose and translation in his lifetime, travel and give writings, even after he retired from Lewis and Clark in 1980 and up to the time of his death on August 28, 1993.
“His poetry is very accessible,” said Nancy Nowak, a poet, a developmental education instructor at Umpqua Community College and an organizer of the event. “He writes beautifully about our region and state. His poems are about nature and family life, and about issues of war and peace.” He was a registered pacifist who performed alternative services during World War II which consisted of forestry and soil conservation work.
“He’s an important poet to Oregon,” she said.
At this reading, sponsored by the Friends of William Stafford, poets will read some of Stafford’s poems and a couple of their own written in the spirit of Stafford’s work. The featured readers are H. NiAodagain, Pete Anderson, Nita Countryman, Jillanne Mitchell and Eric Wilson.
There will also be a performance of Stafford’s poetry set to music by Jason Heald, a composer and the Fine and Performing Arts Department chair at UCC.
Following the reading and musical performance, members of the audience will be invited to read one of their favorite Stafford poems.