For fifty years, William Stafford wrote every morning before others were awake, welcoming whatever his imagination offered, and using this attitude as the basis of his poems. In a workshop led by poets Naomi Shihab Nye and Kim Stafford, we will look at William Stafford poems that exemplify this process and try on some of his writing techniques.
William Stafford (1914–1993) was the author of more than 50 books; his first poetry collection, Traveling Through the Dark (1962), won the 1963 National Book Award for Poetry. A conscientious objector during World War II and avid ecologist, Stafford spent most of his teaching career at Lewis & Clark College in Oregon. With his deceptively simple style and reverence for the natural world, he is considered the Robert Frost of the American west.
Friends and poets gather to remember Kurt Brown (1944–2013), prolific poet, editor, founder of the Aspen Writers’ Conference, former Poets House board member, and beloved teacher. Award-winning author of seven full-length poetry collections, including, most recently, A Thousand Kim and Time-Bound, as well as chapbooks, translations, and a memoir, Brown was a tireless advocate for poetry, editing and co-editing numerous journals and anthologies.
Gwendolyn Brooks’ poems distill the best aspects of Modernist style with the sounds and shapes of various African-American forms and idioms. This talk celebrates her career as an example of art evolving in response to the dramatic historical, political, and aesthetic challenges a writer encounters.