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Celebrating Poets Past and Present

May 29, 2014

Stafford Tribute at the Newmark

Despite an uncharacteristic snowstorm in Portland, a large and enthusiastic crowd trekked downtown to the Newmark Theatre on February 7 to attend the William Stafford Centennial Celebration. Stafford, Oregon’s more renowned poet, taught at Lewis & Clark for more than 30 years. Cosponsored by Lewis & Clark and Literary Arts, the event included readings and reflections from Mary Szybist, associate professor of English and recent National Book Award winner; Paulann Petersen, current poet laureate of Oregon; poets Li- Young Lee and Tony Hoagland; and Kim Stafford, William’s son and poet, writer, and director of the Northwest Writing Institute. 

Oregon Book Awards

Lewis & Clark made a strong showing at the 2014 Oregon Book Awards ceremony, held in March in Portland. The centerpiece of the event was a slide show in honor of William Stafford’s centennial year. Other honorees with Lewis & Clark connections included:

  • Mary Szybist, associate professor of English, won the Stafford/Hall Award for Poetry for her latest collection, Incarnadine. Last November, Szybist received the 2013 National Book Award for Poetry for Incarnadine. More recently, Szybist received a 2014 Guggenheim Fellowship in the category of creative arts, which she will devote to her next volume of poetry.
  • Vern Rutsala, professor emeritus of English, received the C.E.S. Wood Distinguished Writer Award in recognition of an enduring, substantial literary career. Rutsala, who died just two weeks after the ceremony (see page xx), was a poetry finalist in 1987, the first year of the Oregon Book Awards, and won for best poetry book in 1992. President Barry Glassner presented the 2014 award.
  • Vince and Patty Wixon received the Steward H. Holbrook Literary Legacy Award for their longtime dedication to increasing literary opportunities throughout the state. At Lewis & Clark they helped set up the William Stafford Literary Archives. Vince has helped edit Stafford books and Patty has digitized Stafford’s audio archives. 
  • Kim Stafford, associate professor and director of the Northwest Writing Institute, was a finalist for the Sarah Winnemucca Award for Creative Nonfiction with his memoir 100 Tricks Every Boy Can Do.
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