This year, the Oregon Library Association’s Oregon Reads 2014 project
is celebrating the centennial of William Stafford.
Stafford was named the United States Poet Laureate in 1970, and was Oregon’s
fourth and longest standing Poet Laureate from 1975 to 1990. Over seventy libraries all over the state of
Oregon, including the State Library, will have public programs highlighting
Stafford’s life and work.
William Stafford was born in Hutchinson, Kansas, in 1914. During World War II he declared himself a conscientious objector and served in the Civilian Service Camps until the end of the war. He and his wife Dorothy were married in 1944, and moved to Portland, Oregon, where Stafford started teaching at Lewis & Clark College until his retirement in 1980. His poetry has won numerous awards, including the National Book Award in 1963 for Traveling Through the Dark. Many consider him the most widely-read poet not only in Oregon, but in the whole United States. Stafford died at his home in Lake Oswego on August 28, 1993. He was 79.
Talking Books is participating in Oregon Reads by making four books of Stafford's poetry available:
- A Glass Face in the Rain (DBX 782)
- Even in Quiet Places (DBX 1266, BR 11313)
- Stories that Could be True (DBX 757)
- William Stafford Centennial Celebration Collection (DBX 1265)
The last title on the list is a book specially created by Talking Books in partnership with the Lewis & Clark Archives that features 50 audio records of Stafford's poems from across several decades of public readings. Some of the poems are even read by Stafford himself. Feel free to contact us if you are interested in requesting any or all of these titles.