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William Stafford to be honored, memorialized at poetry event

Night of poetry, reading to honor late William Stafford at ARTS/West.

Leaving an impact on American poetry and writing, late William Stafford will be honored by ARTS/West, celebrating 100 years of his legacy.

On Saturday, ARTS/West, a center dedicated to providing a home to the arts, will feature local and visiting writers through “A Ritual to Read Together: A Night of Poetry, Music, and Storytelling.”

The night will include sharing poetry inspired by Stafford and readings from his work.

One of his famous works includes A Ritual to Read Together: Poems in Conversation with William Stafford edited by Becca J.R. Lachman.

The event will take place the night before the International Day of Peace, which is fitting as Stafford was known as an activist and a peacemaker. Lachman said Stafford had a way of being peaceful, but not passive, in the midst of a world filled with violence.

She said it’s nice to realize that there is a way to get away from all of it.  

“What we’re hoping is that this event is a chance to gather and talk about what poetry means outside of the university,” Lachman said.


The event is also connected to a free Intergenerational Poetry Workshop at 2 p.m. at Alden Library on Saturday.  

Merchandise will be for sale and a hat will be passed around to contribute to the Art Gish Peacemaking Fund.

Although admission is free, it is recommended that those in attendance donate $5. Half the proceeds of the event will be given to ARTS/West.

Lachman said Stafford’s work has made an impact on individuals, and his openness was a key part of his poetry.

“Stafford is important in realizing you can still have relationships with people who think differently than you,” Lachman said.



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