Tuesday, January 8, 2013
What do Hood River, Ore., and New York City have in common with Sapporo, Japan, and Marrakesh, Morocco? In January, these cities, along with other cities and towns in the Northwest and other states and countries will celebrate the birthday of William Stafford, Oregon’s most famous poet and one of America’s most important 20th century poets.
Local poets, writers, artists and musicians annually present a variety of events known formally as the William Stafford Birthday Commemorative Readings, sponsored by the Friends of William Stafford.
These popular “birthday parties” are being held in libraries, bookstores, art galleries, on college campuses, in a national park, at a chocolate café, a hospital, a state capitol and even a prison — wherever poetry can be read to and heard by appreciative audiences. The public is invited to these free events.
This year, Hood River’s William Stafford poetry celebration will be held on Sunday, Jan. 13, from 2-4 p.m. at the Columbia Center for the Arts. Aspiring poets and poetry lovers alike are invited to read a favorite Stafford poem and, if they wish, one of their own Stafford-inspired poems. People who just want to hear poetry are also welcome.
As many readers as possible will be included in this enriching afternoon. Anyone wishing to participate is asked to bring a copy of one or two favorite Stafford poems.
Following the reading, Mr. Stafford’s favorite, carrot cake, will be offered, along with other light refreshments. Broadsides of several of his poems will be available for purchase from Friends of William Stafford.
Jointly sponsored by the Friends of William Stafford and Columbia Center for the Arts, the reading event is usually well-attended.
William Stafford was born Jan. 17, 1914. He was a conscientious objector during World War II and remained a well-known pacifist his whole life. A favorite professor at Lewis and Clark College, where he taught for 30 years, he was known for his encouragement of other writers and for his advocacy of free expression in writing and speech.
Stafford is the author of more than 50 books and a recipient of the National Book Award. He died in August 1993.
The Friends of William Stafford is a nonprofit organization that supports and helps to underwrite a variety of literary projects and events open to the public. The FWS website is www.williamstafford.org.
For more information on the Hood River event, e-mail Debbie Dobbs: email@example.com.
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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"
Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge