Get to Know One of America’s Prolific Poets at the Hannon Library: William Stafford

The annual Friends of Hannon Library William Stafford Poetry Celebration will be happening on January 12, 2023. A longtime professor at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, and a former poet laureate of Oregon, the prolific Stafford is now widely recognized as a unique and important voice in the American poetry of the twentieth century.


Born in Hutchinson, Kansas on January 17th, 1914, William Stafford was known for rising early to write short, almost deceptively simple poems. As a young boy, he grew up in the Midwest where he developed a style of writing inspired by his upbringing within his family and his love for nature. In 1937, he graduated from the University of Kansas and decided to get his master’s degree in English. His studies were interrupted, however,  by the outbreak of World War II. A pacifist for most of his life, he worked as a conscientious objector in the civilian public service camps for four years. By 1948, William Stafford moved to Oregon to serve as an English professor at Lewis and Clark College. He retired from Lewis and Clark in 1980 to focus full-time on writing poetry. Stafford’s poetic vision of nature was greatly impacted by his observations on the problems facing society in the second half of the twentieth century. Before his death at his home in Lake Oswego, on August 28, 1993, he published over sixty books of poetry, and today they still resonate with many scholars as well as avid readers of his work. 


Notable Awards over William Stafford’s Lifetime

  • National Book Award for Poetry in 1963
  • Guggenheim Fellowship Grant in 1966
  • Consultant in Poetry for the Library of Congress
  • Poet Laureate of Oregon 1975-1990
  • Western States Book Award in 1992
  • Robert Frost Medal in 1993


Description: Please welcome our special guest Vince Wixon to celebrate the legacy of William Stafford along with featured poets Dave Harvey, Lisa Nelson, Barbara Parchim, and Kathleen Pyle.

Time/Day: January 12th, 2023 from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm

Location: Southern Oregon University Hannon Library — LIB 305

Parking Info: Participants attending the event can park in any of the following lots for free during the time of the event: 18, 19, 21 & 22. There is no code needed. If you park in a handicap spot, you must a display a valid handicap placard. You can find the parking map here.

Zoom Link: For those that cannot attend in person, use the link below to watch the event. However, for those that do not have a Zoom account, you will need to create one in order to view the event.