15 June 2013
I want to tell you about a project for 2014, the centennial of the beginning of World War I, and…
The William Stafford Centennial 2014:
100 Years of Poetry & Peace.
For twenty years I’ve worked as the literary executor for The Estate of William Stafford, the often rewarding
but sometimes overwhelming unpaid job my father left me at his death in 1993. The Centennial marks the
culmination of this labor by me and many others. We are publishing a spate of books for this occasion, the
Oregon Library Association has created a state-wide “Everybody Reads” program based on six of these books,
various schools and organizations around the country will feature the work of my father, and—with kind
support from Lewis & Clark College and the Oregon Library Association—I will be a pinball in ricochet from
one event to another.
Apart from these events, I will be available in two ways during this period for anyone interested in learning
more about William Stafford and the life of creation:
1. “Stafford Studies” (a retreat I will facilitate at the William Stafford Archives, Lewis & Clark College, to
delve into the creative practice of WS, 15-19 July 2013 & 21-25 July 2014).
2. “Daily Writing in the Spirit of William Stafford” (an online course beginning in January 2014).
For information or to register for either program, please contact Pam Hooten <firstname.lastname@example.org>).
In addition, I and others will be hosting the William Stafford Symposium at Lewis & Clark on February 7-8,
2014, co-sponsored by Literary Arts.
And we will present programs and offer workshops at Oregon libraries throughout 2014. For information,
please check the Oregon Library Association website in July 2013: http://www.olaweb.org
The six William Stafford books to be featured by the Oregon Library Association:
Ask Me: 100 Poems, by William Stafford (Graywolf Press, 2014).
The Osage Orange Tree: A Story by William Stafford, ed. Kim Stafford, designed by John Laursen, with
illustrations by Dennis Cunningham (Trinity University Press, 2014).
Early Morning: Remembering My Father, William Stafford, by Kim Stafford (Graywolf Press, 2002).
Every War Has Two Losers: William Stafford on Peace & War, by William Stafford, edited by Kim Stafford
(Milkweed Editions, 2003). Also the film by this name (Zinc Films, www.everywar.com).
Down in My Heart: Peace Witness in Wartime, by William Stafford, edited by Kim Stafford (Oregon State
University Press, 2006).
Everyone Out Here Knows, a poem for young children by William Stafford, ed. Tim Barnes, with illustrations
by Angelina Marino-Heidel (Arnica, 2014).
In addition, please watch for the following new books in 2014:
A Ritual to Read Together: Poems in Conversation with William Stafford, ed. Rebecca Lachman (Woodley
Not the Sound of an Ax: Poems and Aphorisms, by William Stafford, ed. Paul Merchant and Vince Wixon (Pitt
Poetry Series, 2014).
Winterward, by William Stafford (a reprinting of the 1954 poetry dissertation, from Tavern Books, 2013).
We Belong in History, ed. Rachel Pass (Oregon students write in response to William Stafford poems, from
Oooligan Press, 2014).
William Stafford: An Annotated Bibliography, by James W. Pirie, et. al. (Oak Knoll Press
& Lewis & Clark College, 2013).
Are you starting to get an idea of how busy things have been, and will be?
As my father said, “Your job is to find what the world is trying to be.” This is our work now. We are inviting
individuals, schools, libraries, and organizations to use the occasion of my father’s centennial to pursue their
own most cherished projects in support of poetry, literature, learning, peace and reconciliation, and language as
the fundamental human alternative to dissension and violence.
Do not seek the old masters. Seek what they sought.
My father sought the power of human inquiry and conversation to overcome division: “The greatest ownership
of all is to look around and understand.”
After 2014, I will be able to return to my own writing, teaching, speaking, and conferring for worthy projects.
Be well in all ways, Kim Stafford
What We Did Before Radio
Before you go, say a few words. Underground, or inside your heart
The world gave you a voice— a stream was chanting. You took
cry, whisper, laugh, hum. a little dipper, sipped, and some words
Birds called down to you, wind began for you. For this, the world
teaching through bare winter trees, gave you a voice. Before you go,
rain tapping the code for joy.
come down like an angel to laugh
In silence at the window inside a child’s mind. Invisible
sometimes you didn’t know everywhere, be the one singing.
what to say, and then in school
they asked what you had almost learned. —Kim Stafford