William Stafford Centennial

William Stafford Centennial Celebration at WVC Feb. 25

Media Contact: Derek Sheffield, English faculty, 509.682.6737

The community is invited to take part in a celebration of poet William Stafford's legacy on Tuesday, Feb. 25, at 11 a.m. in The Grove Recital Hall, Music and Art Center. This event is free and open to the public. The celebration will include a poetry reading by Todd Davis, whose work has been influenced by Stafford, and a musical performance of Stafford's poetry.

WVC faculty Steve Stefanides and Derek Sheffield, along with composer Terry Hunt, will perform Stafford's poems that have been set to music by Hunt.

Stafford was an Oregon poet laureate and the Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress, which is now called the Poet Laureate. He taught at Lewis & Clark College. Stafford died in 1993 in Lake Oswego, Ore. Activities celebrating his legacy are taking place throughout Oregon and Washington. For more information, visit the Friends of William Stafford Web page.

Todd Davis is the author of four poetry collections, including In the Kingdom of the Ditch (2013) and The Least of the Three (2010). His poems have won the Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Prize and have been nominated several times for the Pushcart Prize.

Davis teaches creative writing, American literature and environmental studies at Penn State's Altoona College.

Hunt has lived in the Methow Valley for 20 years, co-founding the Pipestone School of Music with his wife, teaching at his studio, composing, conducting, performing and recording. He conducted the Pipestone Orchestra for 10 years and the Okanogan Valley Orchestra for six. He was awarded an Artist Trust GAP grant to compose a work for tenor soloist, choir and orchestra based on William Stafford's poems and a month-long residency in Centrum in Port Townsend to work on his compositions.

Stefanides teaches biology and chemistry at WVC. He created the solo tenor role in the premiere performance of Hunt's 2011 award-winning "Stafford Poems" musical composition. He has also performed in the Icicle Creek Music Center Wren Concert Series, the Cascadia Music Series and the Chelan Bach Fest.

Sheffield teaches poetry and nature writing at WVC. He is the author of Through the Second Skin (Orchises, 2013).

This event is sponsored by the Alcoa Excellence in Teaching Award and the WVC Foundation.