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Biography William Stafford

U.S. Consultant in Poetry, 1970-1971

William Stafford, U.S. Consultant in Poetry, 1970-1971. Photo credit: Aubrey R. Watzek Library, Lewis & Clark College.

William Stafford was born in Hutchinson, Kansas, in 1914. His first major collection of poems, Traveling Through the Dark (1962), was published when he was 48. Stafford was the author of 65 books of poetry, including The Rescued Year (1966), Stories That Could Be True: New and Collected Poems (1977), and An Oregon Message (1987). He was also the author of the memoir Down My Heart (1947), as well as several books of essays. Among his honors and awards were the National Book Award, the Shelley Memorial Award, the Western States Lifetime Achievement Award in Poetry, and a fellowship from the Guggenheim Foundation. In 1970 Stafford was appointed the Poet Laureate to the Library of Congress, and in 1975 the Poet Laureate of Oregon. He taught at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon, from 1948-1980. William Stafford died in 1993.

Audio Recordings of William Stafford

Selected Works at the Library of Congress