[Libs-Or] Stafford Birth Centennial Declared a Statewide Celebration

Kyle Jansson kyle.jansson at state.or.us
Wed Oct 2 15:13:44 PDT 2013

The 2014 centennial of the birth of one of Oregon’s greatest poets has
been declared a statewide celebration by the Oregon Heritage Commission.
The poet, William Stafford, served as poet laureate of Oregon for 14
years and published more than 60 collections of poetry and prose.

“Stafford’s poetry remains alive across the country today more than
two decades after his death,” said commission coordinator Kyle
Jansson. “New books of his work are being published and numerous
events will take place next year as the public absorbs the words and
thoughts of one of the most prolific and admired American writers of the
20th century.”

Stafford moved to Oregon from his native Kansas in 1948 and settled
with his family in Lake Oswego. He taught for more than 30 years at
Lewis and Clark College which now houses his archives. Stafford won many
prestigious literary awards, including the National Book Award. He was
Poetry Consultant to the Library of Congress (a post now called the US
Poet Laureate) in 1970.

“Stafford’s plain-spoken poems – quiet yet tough-minded –
gained a wide following, even among readers who did not think they liked
poetry,” the commission’s declaration states.

The Oregon Library Association has selected Stafford as its featured
author for the Oregon Reads program in 2014. Nearly 100 libraries have
already joined the effort. They will select one or more Stafford-related
books, ask everyone in their community to read them and sponsor programs
that celebrate them. The Oregon Reads website is

State law authorizes the Heritage Commission, whose members are
appointed by the governor, to declare celebrations of statewide
significance. Prior to the Stafford declaration, the most recent
celebration was the 2012 centennial of woman’s suffrage in Oregon.

For more information about William Stafford visit the Friends of
William Stafford website at www.williamstafford.org	

Kyle Jansson, Coordinator
Oregon Heritage Commission
725 Summer St. NE, Suite C
Salem, OR 97301-1266
(503) 986-0673
FAX (503) 986-0793
kyle.jansson at state.or.us
Oregon Heritage invites you to read and comment upon our blog, Oregon
Heritage Exchange, at http://oregonheritage.wordpress.com/

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