As promised, I am writing to share an extensive list of William Stafford Birthday Celebration events. I want to thank Soapstone for sending this list to us!

I’ll be attending tomorrow’s reading at the West Linn Public Library to share one of my favorite poems by William Stafford, “Representing Far Places,” as my birthday gift. It is always an honor to participate in this reading, and so much fun to hear all of the stories and poems other participants share.

Please join me there, or attend one of these many events throughout the month to help commemorate this amazing man and his life’s work.


The public is invited to these free events.

Different from most poetry readings, the “parties” usually feature four or five local poets, each of whom read a Stafford poem and one of their own written in the spirit of Stafford’s writing. Some of the events also include speakers who address topics related to Stafford and his work, short films, or Stafford poetry-related musical or artistic pieces. After the featured participants’ presentations, the guests, members of the audience, are then invited to read a favorite Stafford poem or to tell a personal anecdote about the late Oregon poet laureate.

Portland Metro Area Readings

Saturday, January 12th

2-4 pm, Milwaukie Ledding Library, Pond House, 2215 SE Harrison (adjacent to the Ledding Library), Milwaukie. Hosted by Greg Chaimov and Tom Hogan. Featuring Gail Barker, Mary Dettmann, David Filer, Brett Kelver, Susanna Lundgren, Ron Rasch, Ron Talney, Jamie Wilks, and FWS Board Member Paulann Petersen. Refreshments will be served.

2-4 pm, West Linn Library, 1595 Burns, West Linn. Hosted by David Hedges. Featuring Tiel Aisha Ansari, Linda Appel, Jean Bennett, Rachel Pass, Scottie Sterrett, Marilyn Torsen, Virginia Euwer Wolff, and FWS Board Member Nancy Winklesky.

4 pm, Cover to Cover Books, 6300 NE St. James Road, Suite 104B, Vancouver, WA. Hosted by Christopher Luna. Featuring FWS Board Member Tim Barnes.

4:30 – 5:30 pm, Kairos-Milwaukie UCC, 4790 SE Logus Road, Milwaukie, hosted by Portland Fellowship of Reconciliation and Kairos-Milwaukie UCC, William Stafford in Song and Dance: A Work in Progress, presented by Carolyn McDade, composer of Spirit of Life (Massachusetts) and the Portland-based Deep the Love Sacred Circle.

Sunday, January 13th

11:45 am to 1:45 pm, Kairos-Milwaukie UCC, 4790 SE Logus Road, Milwaukie. Co-hosted by Oregon Fellowship of Reconciliation, Kairos-Milwaukie UCC, and Betty and Bob Balmer. Featuring Carolyn McDade (Massachusetts), Dawn Waring (Canada), Paige Polcene (California), Joanie McClellan (Portland), Rick Skidmore (Portland) and FWS Board Member Emerita Sue Einowski. Encore showing of “Every War Has Two Losers.” A Birthday Celebration of food and beverages precede the screening in the Kairos Milwaukie Circle Room. The film will be shown in the Sanctuary at 12:30 PM. Invited Special Guest: Dorothy Stafford. There will be a brief discussion following the film and open-microphone poetry reading of your favorite poems. Kairos Community Forums & Occasional Speaker Series encourage the exploration of topics related to the pursuit of justice and peace, as well as a wide array of issues that promote greater understanding of diversity and difference of opinions.

7-9 pm, Stonehenge Studios, 3508 SW Corbett Ave., Portland. Hosted by FWS Board Member Leah Stenson. Featuring cellist and composer Daniel Sperry who will recite Stafford poems accompanied by original cello compositions. An open mic will follow. Attendees are encouraged to bring a Stafford poem or share an anecdote about the poet during the open mic.

2 pm, Hillsboro Main Library, 2850 NE Brookwood Parkway, Hillsboro. Hosted by Mark Thalman. Featuring Tim Applegate, FWS Board Member Barbara Drake, Lars Nordstrom, Susan Munger, Liz Nakazawa, Mary Jane Nordgren, Darlene Pagan, Penelope Scambly Schott, Joe Schrader, Mary Slocum, and Joseph Soldati. Featured poets will be reading the poems in order from Stafford’s award winning bookTraveling Through the Dark.

Tuesday, January 15th

7-9 pm, In Other Words Feminist Community Center, 14 N Killingsworth, Portland. Part of the Figures of Speech Reading Series. Hosted by Constance Hall and Steve Williams. Featuring Leanne Grabel, Steve Sanders, and FWS Board Member Leah Stenson. Bring poems inspired/in tribute/or in the style of Wm. Stafford for our open mic. (1 poem or 2 pages max please.). This event will include poetry prompts, & cookies.

7 pm, Lake Oswego Library, 706 4th St., Lake Oswego. Hosted by FWS Board Member Bill Howe. A celebration of William Stafford’s birthday, his legacy, and of the vibrancy of the arts in Oregon, featuring readings by his gifted widow Dorothy Stafford, daughter Barbara Stafford-Wilson, friend and Oregon’s current Poet Laureate Paulann Petersen, and his archivist Paul Merchant.

Wednesday, January 16

7 pm, Miracle Theater/El Centro Milagro, 525 SE Stark St., Portland. The third William Stafford Birthday Reading sponsored by Los Portenos, Portland’s Latino writers’ group. Hosted by Cindy Williams Gutiérrez. Featuring Frank Delgado, Catherine Evleshin, Joann Farías, Joaquín López, Octaviano Merecías-Cuevas, Emma Oliver, Olga Sanchez, Juan Antonio Trujillo, and FWS Board Member Susan Reese. In their 3rd annual Stafford Birthday Reading, members of Los Porteños will read their original poetry and prose written in response to a William Stafford poem. Audience members are invited to bring a favorite Stafford poem to share.

Wednesday, January 16th

6-8 pm, Literary Arts Room, Roger Rook Hall, RR220, Clackamas Community College, 19600 S. Molalla Ave., Oregon City. Hosted by Elisabeth Miles and Trista Cornelius, Third Monday Authors’ Evening Group, and CCC. Featuring Carl Clapp, Ryan Davis, Kate Gray, Rose Lefebvre, Sue Mach, Jeff McAlpine, and FWS Board Member Nancy Winklesky. Refreshments will be served. Open Mic: People will share one or two poems by William Stafford, and, if they want, a poem of their own in the tradition of William Stafford, or an anecdote or remembrance about him.

6-8 pm, Community Room, Cascade Park Community Library, 600 NE 136th Ave., Vancouver, WA . Hosted by Christi Krug. Featuring David Benedicktus, Tom Kinzie, Jenney Pauer, and Joanna Rose.

Thursday, January 17th

7 pm, Oregon City Library, 606 John Adams Street, Oregon City. Hosted by Christine Delea. Featuring Lyssa Tall Anolik, Karen Braucher, Cindy Williams Gutiérrez, Diane Holland, David Rutiezer, Laura Weeks, and FWS Board Member Nancy Winklesky.

7 pm, Broadway Books, 1714 NE Broadway, Portland. Hosted by Joanna Rose. Featuring Stevan Allred, Margaret Chula, Donna Prinzmetal, Suzanne Sigafoos and FWS Board Member Don Colburn.

Sunday, January 20th

2-4 pm, Blackfish Gallery, 420 NW 9th, Portland. Hosted by Robin Bagai and Willa Schneberg. Featuring Francis Payne Adler, Constance Hall “M,” Philip Kenney, Emily Pittman Newberry, Mark Owens, and FWS Board Member Emerita Sue Einowski.

Sunday, January 20th

6:30 pm, Moonstruck Chocolate Café, 45 S. State Street, Lake Oswego. Brian Doyle and David Hedges read their poetry from the anthology Home Address in honor of William Stafford. Hosted by Joan Maiers. Featuring FWS Board Member Patricia Carver. Bring a Stafford story or poem written by William Stafford to share.

Tuesday, January 22nd

7-9 pm, Eliot Chapel, First Unitarian Church, 1011 SW 12th

Avenue (corner of 12th and Salmon), Portland. Hosted by FWS Board Member Tim Barnes. Featuring Deborah Buchanan, Leanne Grabel, Michael McGriff, Paul Merchant, Karen Reyes, and Steve Sander. Scheduled readers will offer a reading, a way of understanding more richly, the Stafford poem they have selected and/or offer some thoughts on his work and their relationship to it. An open mic will follow in which readers are encouraged to share a Stafford poem meaningful to them and perhaps say a few words about why this is so. The dynamic duo of Sander and Grabel will also perform some Stafford poems on vocals and keyboard.

Wednesday, January 23rd

7 pm, Annie Bloom’s Books, 7834 SW Capitol Hwy, Portland. Hosted by FWS Board Member Susan McKee Reese. Featuring Barbara Drake, Valentine Freeman, Lisa Galloway, Tom Hogan, and Anmarie Trimble. Please come to a celebration of what would have been the 99th birthday of William Stafford and bring a favorite William Stafford poem to share.

Thursday, January 24th

7:30-8:30 pm. University of Portland, Buckley Center 163, University of Portland, 5000 N. Willamette Blvd., Portland. Hosted by Herman Asarnow. Featuring Judith Arcana, Eren Ergenbright, Sara Guest, Erik Larson, Kirsten Rian, and FWS Board Member Bill Howe.

7 pm, Smith, (333 SMC), Portland State University, 1825 SW Broadway, Portland. Hosted by FWS Board Member Emeritus Shelley Reece. Featuring FWS Board Member Don Colburn.

Saturday, January 26th

3 pm, Holy Names Heritage Center, 17425 Holy Names Drive, Lake Oswego. (Take the Mary’s Woods exit off Hwy 43 and head one block east.) Hosted by Joan Maiers. Featuring FWS Board Member Patricia Carver. Bring a Stafford story or poem written by William Stafford to share.

Sunday, January 27th

2 pm, Multnomah Central Library, US Bank Room, 801 SW 10th Ave., Portland. Hosted by FWS Emeritus Board Member Joseph Soldati. Featuring Greta Blalock, A. Molotkov, Penelope Scambly Schott, Scot Siegel, Laura D. Weeks, Wendy Willis, and FWS Board Member Jim Scheppke.

2-4 pm, Tigard Public Library, 13500 SW Hall Blvd., Tigard. Hosted by FWS Board Member Tim Barnes. Featuring Judith Barrington, Sue Einowski, Tim Gillespie, George Staley, and Primus St. John. Scheduled readers will offer a reading, a way of understanding more richly, the Stafford poem they have selected and/or offer some thoughts on his work and their relationship to it. An open mic will follow in which readers are encouraged to share a Stafford poem meaningful to them and perhaps say a few words about why this is so.

Tuesday, January 29th

7-8:30 pm, Barnes & Noble, 7700 NE Fourth Plain Boulevard, Vancouver, WA. Hosted by Shawn Sorensen. Featuring Ken Arnold, Kirsten Rian and FWS Board Member Don Colburn. Come celebrate William Stafford with a round table discussion, author readings, open mic and the largest selection of poetry titles in town. Come on up or by for a poetry event in the thriving and growing Vancouver art/literary scene.

6:30-7:45, Kenton Public Library, 8226 North Denver Ave, Portland. Hosted by Tom and Margot Lavoie. Featuring Herman Asarnow and FWS Board Member Tim Barnes. Come to one of the last Stafford celebrations of the month and hear Herman Asarnow read. Share a favorite Stafford poem and then read at the open mic to end the night and bring down the curtain on this year’s events.

Non-Metro Area Readings

Saturday, January 12th

3 pm, Waldport Community Center, 265 Hemlock St., Waldport, Oregon. Hosted by Drew Myron and friends of the Waldport Public Library. Join the worldwide birthday celebration honoring the life and work of the late William Stafford, Oregon’s most famous poet. Oregon Coast writers will read a Stafford poem, as well as their own. Audience members are invited to share a favorite Stafford poem.

2 pm (Mountain Time), Ontario Community Library, 388 SW 2nd Avenue, Ontario,Oregon. Host: Phillip Mahaffey, English Department, Treasure Valley Community College.

Sunday, January 13th

2 to 4 pm, Columbia Center for the Arts, Hood River, Oregon. Hosted by Barbara Young, sponsored by CCA. Both Stafford and Stafford-inspired personal poems will be read with time for audience members to read, as well.

2 pm, Wy’east Book Shoppe & Art Gallery at the Rendezvous Center, 67149 E. Highway 26, Welches, Oregon. Hosted by Lindy Delf and Tony Wolk. Featuring: poet Ed Edmo, singer/songwriter Suzan Lundy, and FWS Emeritus Board Member Sharon Wood Wortman.

Monday, January 14th

6 pm, Room 136, Blue Mountain Community College, 980 SE Columbia Drive, Hermiston, Oregon. Hosted by Pam Steele.

Tuesday, January 15th

7-8:30 pm, Newport Public Library, 35 NW Nye Street, Newport, Oregon. Co-sponsored by Willamette Writers Coast Chapter. Hosted by Dorothy Mack. Featuring Linnea Harper and Dan Stein. Attendees are encouraged to bring their favorite Stafford poems to share.

5:30 pm, Fishtrap House, (Coffin House), 400 E. Grant St., Enterprise, Oregon. Featuring Cameron Scott and FWS Board Member Rich Wandschneider. An evening potluck and reading to kick off our wintertime writer-in-residence program and celebrate William Stafford’s birthday. Please bring a dish to share for the potluck at 5:30, the reading will begin around 6:30.

6:30-7:30 pm, Driftwood Public Library, 801 SW Hwy 101, Lincoln City, Oregon. Co-hosted by John Fiedler and Ron Sears. A reading of Stafford poems by audience members and by featured readers, who will also share brief original poems in the spirit of William Stafford.

Wednesday, January 16th

7 pm, Austin Reading Room, Nicholson Library, Linfield College, 900 SE Baker Ave, McMinnville, Oregon. Hosted by Lex Runciman and FWS Board Member Barbara Drake. Featuring a mix of students and local people reading. Public participation warmly invited. Bring a Stafford poem, prose passage, or anecdote, and a poem of your own to share if you wish.

Thursday, January 17th

7 pm, Hannon Library, Meese Meeting Room 309, 1250 Siskiyou Blvd., Southern Oregon University, Ashland, Oregon. The public is invited to attend this free event honoring the late Oregon Poet Laureate. Hosted by Friends of Hannon Library and Friends of William Stafford. Composer Todd Barton will open this celebration by performing his piece composed for the Cavani String Quartet in 1996 to accompany a quartet of William Stafford poems. Poet Linda Barnes will read the four poems. Todd Barton, Oregon Shakespeare Festival Resident Composer for forty-three years and Director of Composition Studies at Southern Oregon University, is the composer of over 250 scores for theater productions and over one hundred commissioned concert works. Among his film and video scores are William Stafford: The Life of the Poem andLawson Fusao Inada: What It Means to Be Free. Other featured poets for the event include Jeannette Cappella, Bruce Barton, Richard Lehnert, Liz Robinson, and Jay Schroeder. Audience members are invited to bring a favorite William Stafford poem to read.

6 pm, Klamath County Main Branch Library, 126 S. 3rd St., Klamath Falls, Oregon. Hosted by Klamath County Library.

6:30-9:00 pm, The Bakery (previously The Rock Wall Studio), an art exhibit and performance studio—the studio is up a flight of stairs, 255 North Broadway, Burns, Oregon. Hosted by Sue Kovar, owner of The Bakery. Featuring Harney Basin Writers group members Peg Wallis, Lorna Cagle, Debra Raymond, Susan Kovar, Kate Marsh, and Marjorie Thelen. The public is invited to attend this free event, and refreshments will be served. The upstairs studio is above The Children’s Barn, and is the site of frequent Coyote Cinema showings and other artistic events. Several writers will read a poem by the late Oregon Poet Laureate followed by one of their own poems written in the spirit of Stafford’s work. Members of the audience are invited to read one of their favorite Stafford poems.

3:20-5 pm, and 7 pm, Longview Public Library, 1600 Maple, Longview, Washington, 98632. Hosted by Northwest Voices (Lower Columbia College & Longview Public Library). Featuring Alice Derry presenting a workshop at Lower Columbia College from 3:30-5 pm, followed by a public reading at the Longview Public Library at 7 pm as the keynote speaker for the annual William Stafford Birthday Celebration. Cake and punch are provided by the library for guests, and there will be an “open-mic” time for Stafford fans and budding poets alike to share Stafford poetry or their own work.

Sunday, January 20th

2 pm, Anderson Room A, Salem Public Library, 585 Liberty St SE, Salem, Oregon. Hosted by Janet Markee. Featuring Alice Derry, Marilyn Johnston, and FWS Board Member Jim Scheppke. The program will open with HOW THE INK FEELS, then the readings, and then audience participation of sharing favorite Stafford poems.

Friday, January 25th

7 pm, Trude’ S. Pozzi Education Center, Sunriver Nature Center & Observatory, 57245 River Road, Sunriver, Oregon. Hosted by Sunriver Nature Center. Featuring Jim Anderson, Peter Lovering, andAlex Weiss. The program will include introductory comments about Stafford and his influence on American poetry, followed by invited readings of Stafford works and original poems by readers. Eighth grade students of from 3-Rivers School in Sunriver who have participated in a workshop on Stafford Poetry will be invited to share some of their own work or a favorite Stafford poem. Open readings by audience members will round out the program. There will be light refreshments provided.

Saturday, January 26th

1 pm, Corvallis-Benton County Library, 645 NW Monroe St., Corvallis, Oregon. Hosted by FWS Board Member Emerita Linda Gelbrich. The theme for this year’s celebration is “What is Poetry?” We will begin with the DVD of “The Life of the Poem,” followed by a short workshop led by Linda Varsell Smith, with time to write from the inspiration of Stafford’s video and his poems related to poetry. Featured readers will include Eleanor Berry and Be Davison Herrera. They will address the theme as well as read from Stafford’s work. Audience participants will be invited to read a favorite William Stafford poem as well as one of their own related to the theme.

4 pm, Tsunami Books, 2585 Willamette St., Eugene, Oregon. Hosted by Jerry Gatchell and FWS Board Member Martha Gatchell. Featuring John Daniel. Contact: Tsunami Books 541-345-8986.

7pm, Mt. Angel Abbey Library, Mt. Angel, Oregon. Silverton Poetry Association Stafford Celebration Event. Hosted by Efrain Horna Diaz. This year we will celebrate what William Stafford called “circling around our truth.” Everyone is invited to listen and to read the poetry of William Stafford. Those who knew Stafford are especially invited to share. Special attention will be given to the poet’s relationship with grief. A few of his poems will be read in other languages. Refreshments served.

Sunday, January 27th

1:30 pm, Molalla Public Library, 201 E. 5th St., Molalla, Oregon. Hosted by Larry Anderson and Kate Gray. Sponsored by the Molalla Writers Group. Featuring Larry Anderson, Brian Biggs, Maureen Cole, Kate Gray, Carol Hausholder, Steve Slemenda, and Esther Wood, who will read Stafford and Stafford-related poems followed by reader/audience discussion of his work, life, stories, anything else of pertinence. Guests are warmly invited to read their own work and/or related poems. Those not interested in reading poems may sit back and enjoy! The film, “Traveling in the Dark” will be shown, with a short discussion to follow.

Saturday, January 29th

1 pm, Columbia Room, 416 Sid Snyder Ave SW, Legislative Building, Olympia, Washington. Hosted by Alex Hays. Featuring Chris Bayley, Mark Lindquist, and Sam Reed. We will be celebrating the life of poet William Stafford. A basic outline of the events includes: a) Time to Mingle with other patrons of the arts b) Introduction — Alex Hays c) Featured Readers — Poems will be read by several local authors (they will be provided with some of Stafford’s poems, or they can choose their favorite Stafford poem to read) d) Conclusion — Alex Hays.

Leave a Reply