The William E. Stafford Archives, Series 5, Sub-Series 1: Video Footage of William Stafford, 1966-2011

Overview of the Collection

Stafford, William, 1914-1993
The William E. Stafford Archives, Series 5, Sub-Series 1: Video Footage of William Stafford
1966-2011 (inclusive)
4 cubic feet, (3 boxes)
Collection Number
William Stafford (1914-1993) was one of the most prolific and important American poets of the last half of the twentieth century. This subseries of the collection includes includes film reels, VHS recordings, BETA recordings, and digital footage of Stafford reading his poetry. The Index to the entire Stafford Archives can be found at:
Lewis & Clark College, Special Collections and Archives

Aubrey R. Watzek Library
615 S. Palatine Hill Rd.
Portland, OR
Telephone: 5037687758
Fax: 5037687282
Access Restrictions

This collection has no restrictions and is open for research.


Biographical NoteReturn to Top

William Stafford (1914-1993) was one of the most prolific and important American poets of the last half of the twentieth century. Among his many credentials, Stafford served as consultant in poetry at the Library of Congress, and received the National Book Award for his poetry collection Traveling through the Dark (1963). During his lifetime, Stafford wrote over sixty books of poetry that still resonate with both scholars and general readers. Stafford’s perspectives on peace, the environment, and education serve as some of the most articulate and engaging dialogues by a modern American writer about three of the most important issues of the second half of the twentieth century with lasting impacts on future generations. Howard Zinn, one America’s most iconic modern historians, was keenly aware of Stafford’s insight into modern American culture. Zinn claimed, “William Stafford’s prose and poetry, wise and eloquent, speak directly to the violence of our time, and to our hope for a different world” (from cover of Every War Has Two Losers).

The William Stafford Archives, donated to Lewis & Clark College by the Stafford family in 2008, contain the private papers, publications, photographs, recordings, and teaching materials of the poet William Stafford. The Lewis & Clark College Special Collections actively add to this collection by acquiring unique Stafford related materials.

Stafford wrote every day of his life from 1950 to 1993. These 20,000 pages of daily writings form a complete record of the poet’s mostly early morning meditations, including poem drafts, dream records, aphorisms, and other visits to the unconscious, recorded on separate sheets of yellow or white paper or when traveling, often in spiral-bound reporters’ steno pads. The archive also includes typescripts of poems submitted for publication and for use in readings. Stafford listed where he submitted each poem, and whether it was accepted for publication on the typescript. Each of his published collections, large and small, is represented by its gathering of documentary copies (typescripts), called by Stafford a “put-together.” Unpublished poems, poems published in journals, and reading copies of published poems were also gathered, in a virtually complete record from 1937 to 1993, totaling about 7,000 items. The collection also includes copies of all known Stafford books and translations. Stafford saved correspondence received, with an indication of the date of reply, and sometimes a copy of the reply, from the early 1960s to August 1993. Estimated at 100,000 sheets, the collected correspondence contains some full exchanges of correspondence initiated by WS. One such exchange is the correspondence with Marvin Bell on their sequence Segues. In addition to many photographs of and relating to William Stafford, the archive includes an estimated 20,000 photographs and negatives taken and developed by Stafford of fellow poets, family, friends, and Lewis & Clark College faculty. The archive provides documentation of Stafford's teaching career, including more than one thousand index cards, some dating from research at Iowa, others from later. These were much used in preparing for classes, workshops, and lectures. The files also contain scattered notes for workshops and lectures. The archive also includes course syllabi, and faculty documents relating to Stafford's teaching years at Lewis & Clark College.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

Includes film reels, VHS recordings, BETA recordings, and digital footage of Stafford reading his poetry.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

Permission to publish, exhibit, broadcast, or quote from materials in the Watzek Library Archives & Special Collections requires written permission of the Head of Archives & Special Collections.

Preferred Citation

The William Stafford Archives, Lewis & Clark College Aubrey Watzek Library Archives & Special Collections, Portland, Oregon.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Arranged in chronological order.

Location of Collection

Special Collections

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box item
1 1.1 Research notes on Stafford video footage held in other libraries
1 1.2 William Stafford Reading at Eastern Oregon College
1 1.3 William Stafford and Richard Hugo. Rogue Community College
2 VHS tapes
1 1.4 “William Stafford: An Oregon Message,” film by Richard Blakesee, Tom Chamberlin, and Susan Shadburne. Oregon Arts Foundation
2 VHS tapes
1 1.5 William Stafford reads thirty poems, three interviews. Recorded during the filming of “An Oregon Message.”
2 DVDs
1 1.6 “Richard Hugo, Lower Columbia College Reading,” Longview, Washington.
1 VHS tape
January 1982
1 1.7 “William Stafford, Lower Columbia College Reading,” Longview, Washington.
1 VHS tape
January 1983
1 1.8 “The Snookum’s Tongue: Conversations in the Literary Arts.” Tim Barnes interviewing William Stafford. Produced by Ilka Kuznik, Kuznik-Barnes Productions
May 16, 1983
1 1.9 “William Stafford at James Madison University,” Harrisonburg, Virginia
1 VHS tape
April 1, 1987
1 1.10 “R’s Poetica #19.” Eastern Oregon College, La Grande, OR
April 7, 1987
1 1.11 “The Power of the Word, with Bill Moyers: The Simple Acts of Life.” Interviews Robert Bly, Galway Kinnell, Sharron Olds, Octavio Paz, and William Stafford. PBS program
1 VHS tape
1 1.12 William Stafford: What the River Says.” A Portrait by Vincent Wixon and Michael Markee. Included viewer’s guide. 29 min. Contemporary American Poets Series. Includes TTTD productions sale pamphlet, “The Poetry of William Stafford.”
4 VHS tapes in 2 editions
1 1.13 “William Stafford Forest Service Staff Development.” Lee Stetson, host. Cispus Environmental Learning Center, near Randle, WA. WS’s topic is “Where Do Things [Writing] Come From?”
1 VHS tape
June 6, 1990
1 1.14 “William Stafford Poetry Reading, Tom McBride, at Beloit
1 VHS tape
December 1990
1 1.15 “The Heart of Aging.” William Stafford reads and discusses fifteen poems from Stories That Could Be True. Produced and directed by Ron Ellis, dept of English, UW-Whitewater
2 VHS tapes
1 1.16 Senior Community Video Project. Recording of a panel discussion on aging. WS comments and lists what rights seniors should think carefully about before giving away; and “Do Not Go Gentle, #3 Media and Aging.” WS talks at 22:16.
1 VHS and one mini DV tape
1 1.17 “Stafford 2, Rough cut 4.” 38:38
1 VHS tape
2 2.1 Raw tapes for “A Literary Friendship,” by Haydn Reiss
15 VHS tapes
March 24, 1992. “David’s House,” TAPE #1; April 24, 1992. “David’s House,” TAPE #2; Unknown date. “David’s House,” TAPE #3; Unknown date. “Stafford Interview,” TAPE #7; Unknown date. “Stafford at Book Center,” TAPES #8, 8-A; Unknown date. “Bly-Stafford,” TAPES #12-14, 16; Unknown date. “Bly-Stafford walk in woods by Stafford’s house/beauty shots woods,” TAPE #17; Unknown date. “Bly-Stafford,” TAPES #18-20, 22.
2 2.2 “The Life of the Poem.” Video by Mike Markee and Vincent Wixon. 29 min. Includes viewer’s guide.
1 VHS tape
2 2.3 “About Books.” Dick Lukes interviews WS at Salem Public Library about how he began writing, when he was first published, and his latest book My Name Is William Tell. Portland, OR. Shown (on ch. 25, Salem?) 9/13/93 and 9/20/93. Also “About Books #96 – William Stafford (In Memoriam). Shown on ch. 25, Salem, during the week of 8/28/94.
1 VHS tape
March 27, 1993
2 2.4 “William Stafford and Robert Bly: A Literary Friendship,” film by Haydn Reiss. 58 min.
3 VHS tapes in 2 editions
2 2.5 “The Darkness Around Us, an evening of poems by William Stafford,” read by Robert Bly, Gioia Timpanelli and Thomas Svoboda at Agnes Flanagan Chapel, Lewis & Clark College, Portland, OR.
1 VHS tape and 1 printed program
January 20, 1994
2 2.6 “Remembering William Stafford, with special guest Dorothy Stafford,” live at the Café Carpe, Ft. Atkinson, WI.
July 26, 1996
2 2.7 “The Dream of Now.” Performance at Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Ashland, OR, by Cavani String Quartet. Todd Barton, composer.
1 VHS tape
August 12, 1996
2 2.8 “The Methow River Poems.” A video by Mike Markee, TTTD productions. Read by Garrison Keillor, Naomi Shihab Nye, and William Stafford, music by Todd Barton.
2 VHS tapes
2 2.9 “There Is A Thread,” Oregon Donor Program. 13:20. Joe Marks, Film and Video Production, 3728 SW 55th Drive, Portland, OR
2 VHS tapes
2 2.10 “William Stafford Archive Gathering.”
1 VHS tape
March 9, 2002
2 2.11 “William Stafford Archive Gathering #2 Mike Markee.”
1 VHS tape
March 9, 2002
2 2.12 “Stafford Gathering #2 at Lewis & Clark College: Tape 1.”
1 VHS tape
October 12, 2002
2 2.13 “Stafford Gathering #2 at Lewis & Clark College: Tape 2.”
1 VHS tape
October 12, 2002
2 2.14 “William Stafford: Life and Poems,” A collection of three video works: “What the River Says” (by Mike Markee and Vince Wixon, 1989), “The Life of the Poem” (by Mike Markee and Vince Wixon, 1992), and “The Methow River Poems” (by Mike Markee, 1997). TTTD Productions
2 2.15 Videotape of lecture “William Stafford and the Inner Life of Writing,” Washington College, Robert Stewart.
1 VHS tape
April 11, 2005
2 2.16 “In Our Midst.” Fred Marchant, Suffolk University, Boston
2 2.17 Fred Marchant, Suffolk University, Boston
April 15, 2008
2 2.18 “How the Ink Feels: A celebratory final exhibition of poetry broadsides assembled by the Friends of William Stafford, June 5, 2008-July 13, 2008.”
2 DVDs
2 2.19 Two Stories by Kim Stafford: “Journey to My Father,” and “William Stafford Changes a Few Words.”
July 7, 2009
2 2.20 “An Oregon Message: The Poetry of William Stafford, with Anne Gerety and Tom Hill.” Includes three interviews (45-min) and 30 poems read by Mr. Stafford. Film by Richard Blakeslee, Tom Chamberlin, and Susan Shadburne. Project director, Gary Young, Oregon Arts Foundation. with interviews from December, 1975
2 DVDs
2 2.21 “Stafford Birthday Celebration Poetry Reading.”
DVD does not play
2 2.22 “Every War Has Two Losers,” a film by Haydn Reiss. Commentaries by Peter Coyote, Linda Hunt, Alice Walker, Naomi Shihab Nye, Coleman Barks, W.S. Merwin, Maxine Hong Kingston, Robert Bly, John Gorka, Michael Meade
2 2.23 “Art in a Time of War.” Michael Werner, University of Oregon, School of Journalism
2 2.24 “William and Kim Stafford reading together on 3/4” video tape,” reading and talking about their poetry. Marketed by T.L. Elliott, Cascade Photographics. Individual recordings of the two marketed separately.
Flier present, videos not purchased.
3 3.1 “Onstage At Quartz Mountain,” Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute
16mm film
3 3.2 “What Good Is Poetry?”
16mm film
3 3.3 “The First American Poetry Disc, Volume II: Contemporary American Poetry,” selected and edited by Sander Zulauf, County College of Morris, NJ
1 laserdisc
3 3.4 “The Writer and His World: William Stafford.”
16mm film

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Pacifism--Poetry.
  • Pacifism--United States.
  • Poetry -- Authorship.
  • Poetry -- Study and teaching.
  • Poetry--20th century.
  • Poets, American--20th century.
  • World War, 1939-1945 -- Conscientious objectors -- United States.

Personal Names

  • Stafford, Dorothy
  • Stafford, William, 1914-1993--Archives

Corporate Names

  • Lewis & Clark College (Portland, Or.)

Geographical Names

  • Kansas.
  • Oregon.

Other Creators

  • Personal Names
    • Stafford, Kim (creator)