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Kim Stafford

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Kim Stafford is Emeritus Professor at Lewis and Clark College in Oregon. He writes, teaches, and travels to raise the human spirit through poetry. In 1986, he founded the Northwest Writing Institute, and he has published a dozen books of poetry and prose, including The Muses Among Us: Eloquent Listening and Other Pleasures of the Writer’s Craft and 100 Tricks Every Boy Can Do: How My Brother Disappeared. His most recent book is the poetry collection As the Sky Begins to Change (Red Hen Press, 2024). He has taught writing in dozens of schools and community centers, and in Scotland, Italy, Mexico, and Bhutan. In 2018 he was named Oregon’s 9th Poet Laureate for a two-year term.

Kim Stafford - with fireweed - photo by

The latest book...due out April 9, 2024

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As the Sky Begins to Change is a book of poems to wake the world, lyric anthems for earth and kin.

In his third poetry collection from Red Hen Press, Kim Stafford gathers poems that sing with empathy, humor, witness, and story. Poems in this book have been set to music, quoted in the New York Times, posted online in the Academy of American Poets Poem-a-Day series, gathered in a chapbook sold to benefit Ukrainian refugees, posted online in response to Supreme Court decisions, composed for a painter’s gallery opening, and in other ways engaged with a world at war with itself, testifying for the human project hungry for kinship, exiled from bounty, and otherwise thirsting for the oxygen of healing song.

Kim Stafford - cover for Singer Come fro

    Our Singer Come from Afar

         for Naomi Shihab Nye


Be our wren or warbler lit in willow

swaying with your tender weight

of songs, sipping the sky to tell us

hard things from far away you

freighted for our understanding and

comfort. Sing the mysterious harmony

of news and blessing, hurt and healing

offered with head high, eye bright

until with a friendly shrug

you flit away and leave us

strangely younger.

from Singer Come from Afar

(Red Hen Press, 2021)

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