An Evening of Poetry Honoring William Stafford

Tuesday, January 21, 2020 - 7:00pm to 8:00pm

The Lake Oswego Public Library and the Friends of William Stafford present an evening of poetry in honor of William Stafford featuring poets Judith Barrington, Bill Denham, Kirsten Rian, and Emmett Wheatfall.

Judith Barrington is a poet and memoirist. Her most recent book of poems is Long Love: New and Selected Poems: 1985–2017. She has published five collections of poetry and two poetry chapbooks, a memoir, and a text on writing literary memoir which is used all across the United States and in Australia and Europe. Her memoir, Lifesaving, won the Lambda Book Award and was a finalist for the PEN/Martha Albrand Award for the Art of the Memoir. She is well known as a writer and much sought-after as a teacher. She has been a faculty member of the MFA program at the University of Alaska at Anchorage. She offers workshops at many conferences and writing events in the U.S. as well as in England and Spain. Judith grew up in England and moved to the United States in 1976. She has lived in Portland, Oregon since then.

Bill Denham, educated at Davidson College in North Carolina and at the University of California, began writing poetry at the age of sixty after a forty-year hiatus from his youthful passion. He has written nearly 800 poems and has published three volumes of poetry, Looking for Matthew, of gossamers and grace, and death will come. A long dramatic dialogue with his special needs son, Do you remember, Dad? appeared in the anthology, Daring to Repair. In 2019, Fernwood Press of Newberg, Oregon published his book What is justice? a personal exploration—a book prompted by the arrest of three young Hispanic men and charging them with the capital crime of murdering his stepson, Matthew, on September 4, 2008 in San Francisco. He lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife, June, a former high school classmate in Winston-Salem, NC.

Kirsten Rian’s poetry and prose have appeared in numerous publications. She has been awarded artist fellowships, grants, and international residencies, leading creative writing workshops in locations like northern Iceland, post-war Sierra Leone and refugee relocation centers in Finland, using creative writing as a tool for literacy, community and peacebuilding. She consults and teaches at Portland State University.

Emmett Wheatfall is a published poet, playwright and recording artist. Emmett has published 6 books of poetry, written a play titled Under the Red Robin, released one recorded non-lyrical (without music) poetry CD and four lyrical (with music) poetry CDs. In May 2018, Fernwood Press, an imprint of Barclay Press published Emmett's 6th poetry collection titled As Clean as a Bone. Emmett is known nationally and internationally for his multifaceted poetry. For more biographical information, visit

William Stafford was born in Kansas in 1914, and later moved to Oregon where he taught English literature at Lewis and Clark College. Stafford published numerous volumes of poetry and prose during his lifetime, including Traveling Through the Dark, for which he won the National Book Award in 1963.

This program is sponsored by the Friends of the Lake Oswego Public Library. The library is located at 706 Fourth Street, Lake Oswego.  For more information, contact Alicia Yokoyama at 503-534-4228 or

Emmett Wheatfall
Judith Barrington
Bill Denham
Kirsten Rian