“It is this impulse to change the ”quality" of experience that I recognize as central to creation. . . . Out of all that could be done, you choose one thing. What that one thing is, nothing else can tell you—you come at it over unmarked snow."
A plain-spoken but eminently effective poet, the late William Stafford
(1914-1993) has managed to shape part of the mainstream of American poetry by distancing himself from its trends and politics. Though his work has always inspired controversy, he was widely admired by students and poetry lovers as well as his own peers. His fascination with the process of writing joined with his love of the land and his faith in the teaching power of nature to produce a unique poetic voice in the last third of the twentieth century.
“Crossing Unmarked Snow” continues—in the tradition of Stafford's well-loved collections “Writing the Australian Crawl” and “You Must Revise Your Life”— collecting prose and poetry on the writer's profession. The book includes reviews and reflections on poets from Theodore Roethke to Carolyn Forche, from May Sarton to Philip Levine; conversations on the making of poems; and a selection of Stafford's own poetry. The book also includes a section on the art of teaching, featuring interviews, writing exercises, and essays on the writer's vocation.
authored more than thirty-five books of poetry and prose during his lifetime, including the highly acclaimed "Writing the Australian Crawl: Views on the Writer's Vocation“ and ”You Must Revise Your Life,"
was born in Hutchinson, Kansas, in 1914. After the Second World War (to which he was a conscientious objector), he earned a Ph.D. at the newly created Iowa Writer's Workshop. A longtime lecturer, workshop leader, and advocate on behalf of younger writers and readers, Stafford taught English at Lewis and Clark College from 1956 to 1979. He was awarded the National Book Award in Poetry for “Traveling through the Dark,” The author of over fifty books, Stafford remains one of the most beloved and widely read poets in contemporary American letters. He died in Oregon, where he had f