William Stafford’s work is both a pledge of allegiance and a request for allegiance–allegiance to “…a weather/ of things that happen too faint for headlines,/ but tremendous, like willows touching the river.” William Stafford asks us to give allegiance to what’s deeper than headlines, to pay attention to a deeper world. As we read his poems, we recognize this attention. As we accept his invitation to write our own poems, we begin to recognize the blessing that learning to attend can give.
– Oregon Poet Laureate Paulann Petersen, at The Oregon Cultural Trust blog

Here’s a list of some upcoming readings, in celebration of William Stafford and his work:

Saturday, January 21st, 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. Contact: Joan Maiers, jmaiers@yahoo.com or Holy Names Heritage Center 503-607-0595


Saturday, January 21st, 4 pm, Cover to Cover Books, 6300 NE St. James Road, Suite 104B, Vancouver, WA. Hosted by Christopher Luna. Contact: Christopher Luna christopherjluna@gmail.com or Cover to Cover 360-993-7777


Sunday, January 22nd, 2-4 pm, Blackfish Gallery, 420 NW 9th, Portland. Hosted by Willa Schneberg and Robin Bagai. Featuring Ron Bloodworth, A. Molotkov, Susan Russell, Suzanne Sigafoos, Joe Soldati, and FWS Board Member Leah Stenson. Contact: Willa Schneberg, snowmntn@comcast.net, 503-248-4136


Sunday, January 22nd, 2 pm, Auditorium, Beaverton City Library, 12375 SW 5th St., Beaverton. www.beavertonlibrary.org. Hosted by FWS Board Member Don Colburn. Featuring three-time Oregon Book Award winner John Daniel who will read from William Stafford’s poems and his own and talk about Stafford’s life and work in relation to his own writing, both poetry and prose. Then there will be time for audience members to come forward and read a Stafford poem of their choice. Bring one! Contact: Linda Fallon lfallon@beavertonoregon.gov 503-526-2676 or Don Colburn doncolburn@msn.com 503-737-7819


Monday, January 23rd, 7-8:30 pm. University of Portland, Buckley Center 163, University of Portland, 5000 N. Willamette Blvd., Portland. Hosted by Herman Asarnow. Featuring Chris Cottrell, Kate Gray, Jerry Harp, Sara Jaffe, Lay-Ping (Candy) Tan, and FWS Board Member Susan Reese. Contact: Herman Asarnow, asarnow@up.edu