[PL-Directors] Celebrate William Stafford
jim.b.scheppke at state.or.us
Wed Oct 31 10:01:26 PDT 2007
Once again I am asking you to consider working with The Friends of William
Stafford to celebrate the birthday of Oregon's greatest and most beloved
poet this January. The Friends of William Stafford is a terrific
organization that can help you make this event a success. Many of you have
already had an event in the past and some have already made plans for 2008.
For those of you that have not made plans, I hope you will read Paulann
Petersen's letter and consider working with the Friends next year. I'll
appreciate your consideration. --> Jim
October 30, 2007
Dear Oregon Libraries,
This coming January, The Friends of William Stafford will again sponsor a
series of events to celebrate Bill Stafford¹s birthdaya way to help
continue his vision and work. So far, we have a number of events promised in
the Portland metro area, including at the Central Library in downtown
Portland, the Lake Oswego Library, Broadway Books in Northeast Portland,
University of Portland, and Portland State University. We also anticipate
events in Ashland, Eugene, Salem, Corvallis, and Vancouver, among other
sites. Last year we had 52 events in Oregon, Washington, California, Nevada,
Maryland, Michigan, Kansas, New Jersey, Tennessee, Wisconsin, and Texas.
2008 will be our first international year: we have friends in Malaysia,
Scotland, and Mexico interested in hosting celebrations!
Many of these events are held in public librariesa fitting spot to
celebrate an Oregon writer whose work bore strong testimony to his respect
Most events will follow the same format. They¹ll begin with a few writers
who will each either 1) read a favorite Bill Stafford poem and one of their
own poems in the spirit of Bill¹s work, or 2) read a couple of Bill¹s poems.
Then the program will be open to anyone in the audience who¹d like to read a
favorite Stafford poem. I¹ve been organizing these events for six years, and
they¹ve been very successful. Their inclusiveness creates a strong sense of
community and celebrationjust what we want for such a birthday party.
On behalf of The Friends of William Stafford, I¹d like to encourage you to
organize a similar event at your library. It¹s really not too difficult or
time-consuming. Once you set a time and date, all you have to do is ask five
or six writers (or Stafford fans) to be featured at the event. Or you can
ask one writer to both be the host and invite other writers. Then get the
word out to the public.
Most libraries photocopy a flyer to have available at the check-out desk,
and put announcements on their web pages. Local newspapers and other media
are usually very happy to print or broadcast announcements. Asking the
featured writers to pass the word to other writers is effective. The Friends
of William Stafford board members (especially Joe Soldati and I) would be
happy to help you plan this.
Many people who attend these celebrations do not normally attend literary
events. They bring poems that hang on living room walls; they bring poems
off refrigerators; they bring poems that they carry with them in their
walletsoften folded and unfolded so many times, they¹re almost in pieces.
They relate anecdotes about their encounters with Bill Stafford. They
explain why his poems are significant in their lives. These are moving
gatherings of readers and writers. What better site for them than at a
Please let me know what you think as soon as possible. I know that libraries
need to plan for events early, and Friends of William Stafford would like to
advertise your event in our next newsletter. I hope to hear from you soon.
Best to you,
8403 S.E. 11th Avenue
Portland, Oregon 97202
paulann at paulann.net
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: Stafford Celebration.doc
Size: 27136 bytes
Desc: not available
Url : http://listsmart.osl.state.or.us/pipermail/pl-directors/attachments/20071031/740af710/attachment.doc
More information about the PL-Directors