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Kim Stafford Is Oregon’s Next Poet Laureate


Lewis and Clark Associate Professor Kim Stafford has been chosen as Oregon’s next poet laureate.

Kim Stafford, right, with Fishtrap co-founder Rich Wandschneider.

Kim Stafford, right, with Fishtrap co-founder Rich Wandschneider.

April Baer/OPB

Stafford, who teaches at the College’s Northwest Writing Institute, has been at his craft for nearly 50 years. His poems and essays explore a wide range of subjects, from politics to nature, to deep personal losses. In addition to more than a dozen books, he’s created a body of advocacy work, including founding of the Institute, and helping to start Eastern Oregon’s Fishtrap writer’s conference and retreat.

He’s the executor for the estate of his father, the former U.S. Poet Laureate William Stafford, and edited several collections of his work.

Stafford will take the baton from Central Oregon’s Elizabeth Woody, who has held the post since 2016.

As poet laureate he’ll be charged with traveling the state promoting writing and reading for all Oregonians.

Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the length of Elizabeth Woody’s term as Oregon Poet Laureate. She has held the position since 2016. OPB regrets the error.

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