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Oregonians Celebrate William Stafford's Enduring Legacy

Oregonians Celebrate William Stafford's Enduring Legacy

This year one of Oregon’s most well-known poets, William Stafford, would have turned 100. Throughout the year there are planned celebrations to recognize Stafford and his iconic work. On February 7, Literary Arts and Lewis & Clark College celebrate his legacy with readings from nationally known poets, local authors and archival footage.

On Stafford’s 100th birthday, Think Out Loud hosted a conversation at Multnomah County’s Central Library in downtown Portland covering his work as a poet and conscientious objector, and life as a father and friend.

Below is a clip about a life lesson he gave his kids: “Don’t forget to talk to strangers.”

After the conversation, a group of individuals read his poetry in the downtown library, and shared how his work continues to resonate in their lives. To hear some of their readings and memories, watch the video at the top of the article. And visit the William Stafford Archives webpage to find out more about centennial events.

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Discovering William Stafford

William Stafford was a poet, a lifelong pacifist, and National Book Award winner. He was a conscientious objector during WWII, and taught at Lewis & Clark College for decades. Through archival stills, and readings by Garrison Keillor, Paulann Petersen, Kim Stafford and Stafford himself, get to know the art, life and legacy of Oregon's beloved poet laureate on the 100th anniversary of his birth.