Sunday, April 20, 2008

Dennis Bosley's Account of the Wm. Stafford Poetry Rendezvous

My thanks to Dennis Bosley for his permission to reprint his account of the Stafford gathering April 12 at the Flying W Ranch, in the Fint Hills:

"Forty of us, mostly Kansans, attended the segment of the William Stafford Rendezvous, Saturday, April 12, at the bunkhouse at the Flying W Ranch, in the western part of Chase County, in the Flint Hills. Several Kansas Poets, led by Denise Low, Kansas Poet Laureate, gave accounts of how William Stafford has influenced the course of their careers. She noted how poetry is not a frill, but integral to our survival. Harley Elliott talked about how considering one of Stafford's poems made him close the book. Lots of themes were flying around--Kansas, the reverent way, according to Kim, that William Stafford pronounced 'Cow,' when he said, 'Cow Creek.'

"For those of us Kansans to hear, [Kim Stafford said]: 'It was very important for him to come back to Kansas, not for, about my Father, but about Kansas'; 'Early in the morning he was remembering Kansas.' It was a gentle wake up call: 'Your way of seeing things will be a sort of salvation.'

"Kim said that our gathering may have been characterized by William Stafford as 'This is a little all right.'

"We are making plans to meet again, maybe next year, and continue."