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Kim Stafford

Kim Stafford is the founding director of the Northwest Writing Institute at Lewis & Clark College, where he began teaching in 1979. He holds a PhD in medieval literature from the University of Oregon, and is the author of a dozen books of poetry and prose. He has worked as an oral historian, letterpress printer, photographer, teacher, and as the literary executor of the Estate of William Stafford. His book, Having Everything Right won a citation for excellence from the Western States Book Awards. His most recent books are Early Morning: Remembering My Father, William Stafford (Graywolf, 2002), and The Muses Among Us: Eloquent Listening and Other Pleasures of the Writer’s Craft (Georgia, 2003), as well as the edited collection, Every War Has Two Losers: William Stafford on Peace and War (Milkweed, 2003). He lives in Portland, Oregon, with his wife and children.


Under An Oak In California

When Hitler kissed the children and Mussolini played the violin my father planted spindly cork oak saplings in the dust of California because they said this war might never end. "The nation will need cork and wood and shade," the foreman said. [...]

Walking to the Mailbox

We found a turtle stunned by sunlight dozing easy with half-shut eyes, and as I bent down, my little Rosemary, strapped to my back, stirred and murmured. When I held its knobbed green body up, her quick breath moistened my ear, while the turtle [...]

Mr. Epp’s Garden In Aurora

Find a railway dining car, made into a home that's parked at the heart of Aurora, and a bay horse, one leg raised, asleep tethered to the rail. If you follow Main from there, you'll find the garden open dawn to dusk in the care of Mr. Epp who's [...]

A Lesson In Architecture

The design of the fingerprint is to hold everything smooth, the design of water to make graceful all it can touch, and we meet here, the quince leaf in hand in the rain. The old tree shrugs in September, a knobbed branch sways, and leaves by fr [...]

Indian Languages

Thomas Jefferson Provides a List of Words So That Lewis & Clark May Record the Indian Languages But They Somehow Lose Their Notes After Returning Home Ask of all local inhabitants you meet their own peculiar names for these thi [...]

Back Home in the Shopping Center

I found the corner where children ride the worn plastic horse leaping on its post, tail flying, saddle horn dark from sweat, leather reins jingling with chrome—but now so still, so still it made me lonely for a quarter, for a body small enough to c [...]