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Kim Stafford is a writer in Oregon


...who teaches and travels to raise the human spirit. He founded the Northwest Writing Institute in 1986, and co-founded the Fishtrap Writers Gathering in 1987. He is the author of a dozen books of poetry a prose, including Having Everything Right: Essays of Place, and As the Sky Begins to Change (April 2024).

In our time is a great thing not yet done--it is the marriage of Woody Guthrie's gusto and the Internet. It is the composing and wide sharing of stories, poems, songs, and blessings by those with voice, for those with need.

In 2018, Gov. Kate Brown named him Oregon's ninth poet laureate for a two-year term, and he visited over a hundred groups statewide to share the reading and writing of poetry.

Why write poems in a time of technology and haste? Writing a poem can help us slow down, think, wonder, notice, and jot a few words to improve our sense of well-being. And writing deepens our connection with the inner life, with each other, and with the Earth.

He has taught writing in dozens of schools and colleges, and in Scotland, Italy, Mexico, and Bhutan. 

All around us, daily news inflicts attrition because it is incomplete--it gives facts, events, quotations, but without offering meaning. Writing a poem can ease this injury, providing a way to "talk back to all that darkness" by exploring questions, offering remedies, and making connections between what we have experienced and what we might say.

Kim Stafford is the founding director of the Northwest Writing Institute, and co-founder of Fishtrap. He is the author of a dozen books of poetry and prose, including Having Everything Right: Essays of Place in 1986, and the new poetry collection, Wild Honey, Tough Salt, in 2019. He has taught writing in schools, colleges, meadows, prisons, forests, and in Italy, Scotland, Mexico, Bhutan. In May 2018 Gov. Kate Brown appointed him as Oregon’s ninth Poet Laureate.

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