January 17, 2014, will begin the 100th year
since the birth of the internationally celebrated poet William Stafford.
Over the next two years, the Friends of William Stafford will be working with a number of literary, educational and cultural organizations throughout the country to stimulate and support interest in the celebration of the life and work of William Stafford.
In September of 2011, we sent a formal request to the U.S. Postal Service to request that they issue a commemorative stamp in his honor for 2014. You can download and read our letter of request by clicking here.
Beyond a formal "request" letter, we are aware that it takes tremendous support from a wide variety of communities across the country to get the attention of the U.S. Postal Service Stamp Committee. For that reason, we are asking for your support. We invite you to send a letter of your own to the committee. Say in your own words what the work of William Stafford has meant to you. Share a personal story about time spent with him. Your voice will add to the already large chorus of supporters for this commemorative gesture.
Our Board President, Dennis Schmidling, recently sent out a letter to hundreds of opinion leaders across the country to ask for their support. Please send your message, short or long, asking for a William Stafford stamp to the following address:
Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee
c/o Stamp Development
U.S. Postal Service
475 L’Enfant Plaza SW, Room 3300
Washington, D.C. 20260-3501
Please join us! It is going to take support from a lot of people to get this accomplished. But, please do it soon. The approval process is long, and the odds against success are high, but we believe that you can make a difference.
On March 5, 2012, we will hold our first William Stafford Centennial Summit Symposium.
Leaders of educational, cultural and literary organizations from the Northwest will gather on March 5, 2012 to share ideas for making 2014 a rich and meaningful commemorative year for William Stafford. Lewis and Clark College will be making a presentation on the vast resources available at the William Stafford Archives. They will also be talking about their plans to publish new works from the archives for 2014.
There will also be a presentation from the Oregon State Library regarding commemorative events and readings planned for the centennial celebrations.
The Oregon Poet Laureate, Paulann Petersen, has been organizing William Stafford birthday celebrations around the world for the last 13 years. She will be speaking about plans to expand on these wildly popular celebrations.
Symposium participants will explore and share ideas for even more events. This will be the springboard for what is anticipated to be an ever expanding groundswell toward a wonderful William Stafford Centennial celebration.
Please check back often for news about how plans are developing and what organizations will be involved.