The Writer as Activist: Community, Spirit, Earth

Pitzer College hosts poetry reading by writer Kim Stafford

CLAREMONT, Calif. (Oct. 27, 2003) — Kim Stafford, founding director of Northwest Writing Institute, will share his poetry and prose at 4 p.m., Friday, Nov. 7, in the Fletcher Jones Language Lab at Pitzer College.

“Bringing Stafford to Pitzer is part of the Writing Center’s efforts to provide students with the opportunity to meet and interact with published writers in an informal setting,” said Jackie Levering-Sullivan, interim director of the Writing Center at Pitzer College. The center is hosting the free event.

Stafford, following in his father’s footsteps (author William Stafford), is an advocate for the arts. “We live in a world where a few people could destroy us all, but a few people cannot save us. The math doesn’t work that way. We can only be saved when many people — and finally all people — recognize and live by our true interdependence on earth. This means that education, interactive culture, and the expressive arts are the greatest priority of our time. Writers have a place in this essential work — to question, listen, and tell the connecting stories of human experience, the quiet voices of local life everywhere,” Stafford said.

Stafford grew up in Oregon, Iowa, Indiana, California and Alaska, accompanying his parents as they taught and traveled through the West. He has taught at Lewis and Clark College since 1979 where he directs the writing institute and teaches writing. He has worked as a visiting writer at a host of small towns in the Pacific Northwest and colleges in New York, California, Idaho, Washington and Oregon.

Stafford has written a number of acclaimed books of poetry and prose including, A Thousand Friends of Rain: New & Selected Poems; Having Everything Right: Essays of Place; Lochsa Road: A Pilgrim in the West; and We Got Here Together. Stafford also has a CD of original songs, Wheel Made of Wind.

“Years ago I had the privilege of taking several college courses from Kim, including a brilliant one on Chaucer,” said one of Stafford’s former students. “His insights into the human condition have left an ever-burgeoning imprint on me. Seize the chance to expose yourself to his poetry.”

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