William Stafford (1914-1993) was an earnest, perceptive, and often affecting American poet who filled his life and ours with poetry of challenge and consolation. "The Way It Is: New and Selected Poems" gathers unpublished works from his last year, including the poem he wrote the day he died, as well as an essential and wide-ranging selection of works from throughout his career. An editorial team including his son Kim Stafford, the poet Naomi Shihab Nye, and the poet, translator, and author Robert Bly collaborated on shaping this book of Stafford's pioneering career in modern poetry. The poems in "The Way It Is" encompass Stafford's rugged domesticity, the political edge of his irony, and his brave starings-off into emptiness.
William Stafford 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
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