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Free Workshop with
Poet Laureate Kim Stafford
Saturday, March 16
2 to 4 p.m.
Oregon Poet Laureate Kim Stafford will offer a free workshop “First Thought, Best Thought: Taking a Running Start at Poetry” at the Library. This event, offered in conjunction with the Hoffman Center for the Arts PoetryFest 2019, is free and open to the general public.
Workshop: First Thought, Best Thought
Why write poems in an age of technology and haste? Well, writing a poem can help us slow down, think, wonder, notice, and jot a few words to improve our sense of well-being. And writing can deepen our connections with our inner lives, with each other, and with the world.
All around us, the daily news inflicts attrition because it is incomplete—it give facts, events, quotations, but without offering meaning. Writing a poem can ease this injury, providing ways to “talk back to all that darkness” by exploring questions, by writing remedies, thereby making connection between what we have experienced and what we might say.
Kim Stafford was born and grew up in Oregon. He is the author of a dozen books of poetry and prose, and editor of 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. Stafford has received creative writing fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Governor’s Arts Award, and the Stewart Holbrook Award from Literary Arts for his contributions to Oregon’s literary culture. His work has been featured on National Public Radio.
Stafford’s most recent book, 100 Tricks Every Boy Can Do, is an account of his brother’s suicide, and the struggle of his family to live beyond. It is a book where “the story reaches back through the difficult end to grasp the beautiful beginning, like pulling a venomous serpent inside out.”
Seating for the workshop is limited to 24 participants and will require advance registration for both the paid and unpaid workshop registrants for PoetryFest.
Participants are asked to bring pencil and paper. After introductions, we’ll dive into exploratory writing.
From 4:30 to 5:30 pm the Library will host a reading by Stafford, which will be held at the Hoffman Center for the Arts (across the street from the Library).