Stafford to visit CGCC

Oregon’s Poet Laureate, Kim Stafford, will give a public reading Wednesday, Nov. 14, 7 p.m., in the lecture hall at The Dalles campus of Columbia Gorge Community College, Building 2, 400 East Scenic Drive.

The reading is part of a two-day college visit that also includes classroom discussions with students.

“We are thrilled to have a poet and writer of Kim’s stature visit campus and work with our students,” said Leigh Hancock, a CGCC instructor who chairs the writing, reading, literature and foreign language department and is arranging the visit. “Kim is a storyteller, inspired speaker and humanist who believes in the power of words to cross boundaries and build communities; his readings are often transcendent events,” she said.

Stafford has said, “Poetry is our native language. We begin with imaginative experiments as children, and lyric language can be a realm of discovery and delight throughout life. For adults and communities, poetry can help us be more open to new ideas, emotionally informed, and buoyant in responding to challenges.

“In a society of diverse backgrounds and perspectives, poetry builds community.”

Prior to the public reading, Stafford will visit students enrolled in writing and reading classes at CGCC, speaking on such topics as the use of monologues in fiction.

Stafford was born and raised in Oregon and holds a Ph.D. in medieval literature from the University of Oregon. He is Oregon’s ninth Poet Laureate, appointed by Gov. Kate Brown in May 2018, and the second Stafford to hold the appointment after his father, William Stafford, who was Poet Laureate from 1974 to 1989.

He is also founding director of the Northwest Writing Institute at Lewis & Clark College and author of a dozen books of poetry and prose, including “The Muses Among Us: Eloquent Listening and Other Pleasures of the Writer’s Craft” and “100 Tricks Every Boy Can Do: How My Brother Disappeared.”

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