Kim Stafford grew up in Oregon, Iowa, Indiana, California, and Alaska, following his parents as they taught and traveled through the West. He is the author of a dozen books of poetry and prose, and the founding director of the Northwest Writing Institute at Lewis & Clark College, where he has taught since 1979. He holds a PhD in Medieval Literature from the University of Oregon, and has worked as a printer, photographer, oral historian, editor, and visiting writer at a host of colleges and schools, and offered writing workshops in Italy, Scotland, and Bhutan.
His book, Having Everything Right, 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 for his contributions to Oregon’s literary culture, and 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 death by suicide, and the struggle of a family to understand, and to live beyond that event. It is a story where “the writer reaches back through the difficult end to grasp the beautiful beginning, like pulling a venomous serpent inside out.”
Kim Stafford lives in Portland, Oregon, with his wife and children.
Video“Oregon’s Ninth Poet Laureate Kim Stafford”: Stafford served a two-year term as Oregon’s ninth poet laureate from 2018 to 2020.
“Pilgrim at Home: Local Encounters Beyond the Epoch of the Car”: Kim Stafford interviews Portland artist Bruce Palone at the Riverview Cemetery for his project called Pilgrim at Home: Local Encounters Beyond the Epoch of the Car.
The problems of our time are political, ecological, economic—but the solutions are cultural. How do people speak their truth? How do we listen eloquently? If communication is the fundamental alternative to violence and injustice, what is the work of each voice among us? At the Northwest Writing Institute, we answer word by word.
Areas of Expertise
The Practice of Creative Writing, Teaching Writing, Ethnography of One’s Own Culture, Writing & Teaching Writing, The Poetry of William Stafford, The Literary Center as a Resource for Cultural Change, Peace-Making
- “Oregon Patriot in Tough Times,” an essay in Oregon Quarterly, Spring2012: http://www.oregonquarterly.com/spring2012/feature4.php
- “Resume of Failures,” a chapter from 100 Tricks Every Boy Can Do, by Kim Stafford, in Oregon Humanities, Winter 2010: http://www.oregonhumanities.org/magazine/issue/ha/kim-stafford-on-resume-of-failures/
- 100 Tricks Every Boy Can Do: My Brother Disappeared. San Antonio: Trinity University Press, 2012.
- Prairie Prescription, a chapbook of poems. Boise: Limberlost Press, 2011.
- Pilgrim at Home: Vagabond Songs (with Jan DeWeese and Harriet Wingard): Original Songs [CD] . Portland: Little Infinities, 2009.
- Every War Has Two Losers (a film on William Stafford’s poetry and witness for peace). Kim Stafford, Associate Producer. San Rafael: Zinc Films, 2009.
- A Thousand Friends of Rain: New & Selected Poems. Pittsburgh: Carnegie-Mellon University Press, 2005.
- Every War Has Two Losers: William Stafford on Peace & War. Edited by Kim Stafford. Minneapolis: Milkweed Editions, 2003.
- The Muses Among Us: Eloquent Listening and Other Pleasures of the Writer’s Craft. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 2003.
- Early Morning: Remembering My Father, William Stafford. St. Paul, MN: Graywolf Press, 2002.
- Oregon Pilgrimage in Green. Knight Library Press: Eugene, OR.1998:
- Wheel Made of Wind (with Jan DeWeese): 13 Oregon Songs [CD]. Portland: Little Infinities, 2000.
- Having Everything Right: Essays of Place, rpt. Seattle: Sasquatch Books, 1997.
- We Got Here Together. San Diego: Harcourt Brace & Company, 1994.
- Wind on the Waves. Portland, OR: Graphic Arts, 1992.
- Entering the Grove. Salt Lake City: Peregrine Smith, 1990.
- Lochsa Road: A Pilgrim in the West. Lewiston: Confluence Press, 1989.
- Places & Stories. Pittsburgh: Carnegie-Mellon University Press, 1988.
- A Gypsy’s History of the Worl d. Port Townsend: Copper Canyon Press, 1976.
PhD 1979,MA 1973, BA1970 University of Oregon