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Kim Stafford and wife Perrin Kerns at the Sept. 15 In A Landscape performance in the Alvord Desert.
Kim Stafford and wife Perrin Kerns at the Sept. 15 In A Landscape performance in the Alvord Desert.
Poetry on the road! Oregon Poet Laureate Kim Stafford announces fall schedule (Photo) - 09/28/18

Salem, Ore. – Kim Stafford, Oregon’s new Poet Laureate, is making good on his promise to connect with as many Oregonians as possible, with more than two dozen statewide appearances scheduled before the end of the year.

Stafford just returned from John Day, where he gave a reading, and from Harney County, where he presented at “Art in Burns” and participated in an “In a Landscape” performance with pianist Hunter Noack in the Alvord Desert; he will visit close to 20 more communities before Dec. 31.

“Kim has jumped into the Oregon Poet Laureate position with the gusto, creativity and energy we anticipated,” said Adam Davis, executive director of Oregon Humanities, who administers the Poet Laureate program on behalf of the Cultural Trust. “He’s been all over the place already, and each place has been just the right place.”

Appointed Oregon’s ninth Poet Laureate in May by Governor Kate Brown, Stafford is the founding director of The Northwest Writing Institute at Lewis & Clark College. Constantly writing, Stafford has already been so inspired by his travels that he plans to release a book of poetry inspired by Oregon’s natural beauty and vibrant communities.

“Like groundwater blossoming at many mountain springs,” Stafford said, “the stuff of poetry can appear wherever you take a close look. I want to be the poet laureate by constantly responding to Oregon’s myriad inspirations, and to do the work of the poet laureate by engaging writers all over the map.”

Here are some of the doings of your Poet Laureate through December:


Sept. 29, 9 a.m.: Valley River Inn, Eugene

Keynote address for the Oregon State Poetry Association Conference titled “The Flavor of Unity.”

Sept. 29, 2 p.m.: Eugene Public Library

Free writing workshop open to the public: “Settling Your Accounts through Poetry.”

Oct. 1-8, Oregon Days of Culture Celebration

Stafford will write an original poem about the winning image in the Oregon Cultural Trust’s annual “Days of Culture” social media contest. Oregonians are invited to post photos of cultural experiences with #ORCulture.

Oct. 13, 10 a.m. -2 p.m. and 7 p.m.: Curry County Library, Gold Beach

Free exploratory writing workshop followed by evening poetry reading.

Oct. 18, 1 p.m.: Tillamook County Pioneer Museum

Stafford will read poems and talk about the practice of writing.

Oct. 20, 2 p.m.: Hood River Library

Free poetry reading.

Oct. 21, 2 p.m.: Cannon Beach Library

Poetry reading followed by a conversation about poetry and place with local writers.

Oct. 25, 12:15 p.m.: Oregon City High School

Poetry reading for students.

Oct. 27, 4 p.m.: Salem Public Library

An afternoon public reading and conversation.

Nov. 3, 10 a.m.: Sitka Art Invitational

Stafford will open the event with a brief poetry reading.

Nov. 4, 1 p.m.: Multnomah County Library

A free public reading in the Collins Gallery “with reference to poetry’s contribution to individual and community well-being.”

Nov. 6, 7 a.m.: Pearl Rotary Club, Portland

Poetry reading and talk.

Nov. 6, 1:30 p.m.: Maimonides Jewish School

Poetry reading and talk.

Nov. 7, 6:30 p.m.: Tigard Public Library

Free public reading and talk.

Nov. 14, 7 p.m.: Columbia Gorge Community College, The Dalles

Class visits followed by poetry reading.

Nov. 15, 1 p.m.: Blue Mountain Community College

Reading and talk as part of the “Sense of Place” Arts and Culture Series.

Nov. 15 & 16, 7 p.m. and 9-11:30 a.m.: Pendleton Center for the Arts

Poetry reading Friday followed by a Saturday writing workshop, “Poems for a Better Nation.”

Nov. 17, 1-4 p.m.: Two Rivers Correctional Institution, Umatilla

An appearance as part of the Open Hearts, Open Minds program.

Nov. 29, 7 p.m.: Stayton Public Library

A poetry reading for families and community: “How poetry, art, and culture lift the soul.”

Dec. 4, 12 p.m.: Chehalem Cultural Center, Newberg

A reading and conversation at Newberg City Club: “Poetry for the good of the city.”

Dec. 31: Trinity Episcopal Cathedral

A short poetry reading as part of the New Year’s concert.                                                                                                                                                        

Kim Stafford was born and grew up in Oregon. He is the author of a dozen books of poetry and prose, and edited half a dozen others. His book, “Having Everything Right: Essays of Place,” won a citation for excellence from the Western States Book Awards in 1986. He holds a Ph.D. in medieval literature from the University of Oregon, and has worked as a printer, photographer, oral historian, editor and visiting writer at a host of colleges and schools, and also offered writing workshops in Italy, Scotland and Bhutan. He lives in Portland, Oregon, with his wife and children.

The Oregon Poet Laureate fosters the art of poetry, encourages literacy and learning, addresses central issues relating to humanities and heritage, and reflects on public life in Oregon. Stafford will provide up to 20 public readings per year in settings across the state to inform community, business and state leaders about the value and importance of poetry and creative expression. The program is funded by the Oregon Cultural Trust.

To learn more about the Oregon Poet Laureate program, or to schedule an event with Kim Stafford, visit the Poet Laureate website.


About the Oregon Cultural Trust

The Oregon Cultural Trust is an innovative, statewide private-public program raising significant new funds to support and protect Oregon’s arts, humanities and heritage. In addition to the creation of a permanent endowment, funds are distributed annually through three multifaceted, wide-ranging grant programs. No other state in the nation has a program like the Oregon Cultural Trust, which has been ranked with the bottle bill and the vote-by-mail bill as among Oregon’s most forward-thinking public policy measures. More information at culturaltrust.org.

About Oregon Humanities

Oregon Humanities is an independent, nonprofit affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities and a statewide partner of the Oregon Cultural Trust. Each year through programs and publications—the Conversation Project, Think & Drink, Humanity in Perspective, Idea Lab Summer Institute, Public Program Grants, and Oregon Humanities magazine—Oregon Humanities connects Oregonians to ideas that change lives and transform communities. More information at oregonhumanities.org.



2018 Days of Culture to celebrate how Oregonians experience culture; Oct. 1-8 social media campaign to invite photos, videos with chance to inspire an original poem by Poet Laureate Kim Stafford (Photo) - 09/27/18

Salem, Ore. – “Active is an understatement. Oregonians are erupting with imagination…” The brand anthem for the Oregon Cultural Trust proclaims the unique connection Oregonians have with culture; a connection that is celebrated each October during Days of Culture.

Days of Culture 2018 will showcase the diverse ways Oregonians experience culture with an Oct. 1-8 social media campaign inviting individuals to share snapshots and videos of their cultural experiences with hashtag #ORCulture. The winning image will serve as the inspiration for an original poem by Oregon Poet Laureate Kim Stafford and be used as a lead image and mantra for the Cultural Trust’s 2018 fundraising campaign. The winner will receive an autographed poem framed with his or her photo.

All who post images on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #ORCulture will be entered to win. The winner will be randomly selected on Tuesday, Oct. 9.

Traditionally a weeklong celebration of events and activities presented by Oregon’s 1,500+ cultural organizations, coalitions and tribes, Days of Culture commemorates the Oct.8 anniversary of the Cultural Trust, established in 2002. The decision to expand the celebration to feature individual experiences came from a desire to demonstrate how interwoven our culture is with everyday life.

“Many people think culture is exclusively about art, humanities and history,” said Aili Schreiner, Cultural Trust manager. “Certainly going to a concert, reading a book or visiting a monument are cultural experiences, but so is celebrating a birthday by eating cake or landing your first salmon on the Columbia River. Our culture is defined by who we are, what we do and how we experience life.”

All Oregonians are invited to share their culture by capturing a photo or video of a cultural moment or event (anything from a visit to a lighthouse, a poetry reading, a sporting event or a concert to a quinceanera or a book club) and posting it on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #ORCulture. The goal is to digitally showcase a range of cultural experiences from around the state. Individuals are welcome to post multiple images.

Days of Culture also launches the Trust’s fundraising season; those who gave or give a 2018 donation to one of Oregon’s designated 1,500+ cultural nonprofits are eligible for a tax credit if they make a matching gift to the Cultural Trust.

For details on Days of Culture 2018 and the tax credit, visit www.CulturalTrust.org.

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