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Calendar of William Stafford-Denise Low Correspondence


Denise Low, a drawing by Ted Watts, 1981

Denise Low, a drawing by Ted Watts, 1981


Denise Low, a widely published poet and instructor at the Haskell Indian Nations University, Lawrence, Kansas, states: "Once I talked with Stafford about the lasting influence of Kansas culture on his work, and he agreed that he filtered his writings through that sensibility, even years after he left the state. He had left Kansas reluctantly, in part because of his unpopular stand as a conscientious objector during World War II. The morality that he so often wrote about turned upon him in this case and hurried his move to Iowa and then to Oregon. Of course, he was not a bitter man and did not hold this difficult part of his life against his home state.

"I instigated the anthology Kansas Poems of William Stafford in part because I wanted Kansas people to be aware of his writings, and it is appropriate that this correspondence remains in a Kansas library. I believe that most of his manuscripts will remain at Lewis and Clark College in Oregon . . . beyond the reach of many Kansas researchers and researchers."


  1. William Stafford. "Purifying the Language of the Tribe," poem. Typescript (photocopy), signed.
  2. William Stafford. Letter, 1986 Jan. 16, Lake Oswego, Or. [to] Denise Low, [Lawrence, Kan.] / Bill Stafford. 1 p. Typescript, signed. Accompanied by envelope.
  3. William Stafford. Postcard, 1989 Mar. 11, [Lake Oswego, Or.] [to] Denise Low, Lawrence, Kan. / Bill Stafford. 1 p. Typescript, signed. On verso: "Awareness" (Cuttack, India: Peacock Books, c1988).
  4. William Stafford. Letter, 1989 Nov. 17, Lake Oswego, Or. [to] Denise Low, [Lawrence, Kan.] / Bill Stafford. 1 p. Typescript, signed.
  5. William Stafford. Letter, 1990 Feb. 6, Lake Oswego, Or. [to] Denise Low, [Lawrence, Kan.] / Bill. 1 p. Typescript, signed. Accompanied by Denise Low, "Introduction" and "Back Cover." 4 pp. Typescript, with corrections in the hand of Stafford. Also accompanied by 5"x7" photograph of Stafford.
  6. William Stafford. Letter, 1990 Feb. 13, Lake Oswego, Or. [to] Denise Low, [Lawrence, Kan.] / Bill. 1 p. Typescript, signed. Accompanied by "Poems to Denise Low for Possible Use in a Kansas Book." 1 p. Typescript. 1 p.
  7. William Stafford. Letter, 1990 Feb. 12, Lake Oswego, Or. [to] Dave [Etter], n. l. / Bill Stafford. 1 p. Typescript (photocopy). Accompanied by vita. 1 p. Typescript (photo copy). Also accompanied by Judith Kitchen, "A Chronology of Books by William Stafford." 2 pp., numbered 50-51. Photocopy.
  8. Claire Cooperstein. "William Stafford: An Interview," Poets & Writers 18.2 (Mar./Apr. 1990): 25-33. Annotated by Denise Low.
  9. William Stafford. Postcard, 1990 Apr. 17, Portland, Or. [to] Denise Low, Lawrence, Kan. / Bill Stafford. Holograph, signed.
  10. William Stafford. Letter, 1990 June 8, Lake Oswego, Or. [to] Denise Low, [Lawrence, Kan.] / Bill. 1 p. Typescript, signed. Accompanied by envelope.
  11. William Stafford. Letter, 1990 June 26, Lake Oswego, Or. [to] Denise Low, [Lawrence, Kan.] / Bill. 1 p. Typescript, signed. Accompanied by envelope.
  12. William Stafford. Letter, 1990 July 3, Lake Oswego, Or. [to] Denise Low, [Lawrence, Kan.] / Bill. 1 p. Typescript, signed. Accompanied by permissions form, Poetry. 1 p. Typescript (photocopy). Also accompanied by Denise Low, letter, 1990 June 4, Topeka, Kan. [to] "Dear Editor," s. l. 1 p. Typescript, signed (photocopy). Also accompanied by envelope.
  13. William Stafford. Letter, 1990 July 25, Lake Oswego, Or. [to] Denise Low, Lawrence, Kan. / Bill. 1 p. Typescript, signed. Accompanied by Richard Leighty, letter, 1990 July, Topeka, Kan. [to] William Stafford, c/o Penmaen Press, Great Barrington, Mass. 1 p. Typescript, signed by secretary. Also accompanied by "Author's Response Form." 1 p. Printed matter. Also accompanied by envelope.
  14. Denise Low. Letter, 1990 Oct. 8, Lawrence, Kan. [to] William Stafford, Lake Oswego, Or. 1 p. Typescript (photocopy).
  15. William Stafford. Letter, 1990 Nov. 3, Lake Oswego, Or. [to] Denise Low, Lawrence, Kan. / Bill. 1 p. Typescript, signed. Accompanied by envelope.
  16. William Stafford. Letter, 1990 Dec. 3, Lake Oswego, Or. [i.e., Beloit, Wis.] [to] Denise Low, Lawrence, Kan. / Bill Stafford. 1 p. Typescript, signed. Accompanied by envelope.
  17. William Stafford. Letter, 1991 Jan. 26, Lake Oswego, Or. [to] Judy Roitman, Lawrence, Kan. / William Stafford. 1 p. Typescript, signed (photocopy), inscribed to Denise Low. Accompanied by envelope.
  18. Denise Low. Letter, 1991 Sept. 17, Lawrence, Kan. [to] William Stafford, Lake Oswego, Or. / Denise. 1 p. Typescript (photocopy), signed.
  19. William Stafford. Letter, 1991 Oct. 20, Lake Oswego, Or. [to] Denise Low, Lawrence, Kan. / Bill Stafford. 1 p. Typescript, signed, with holograph postscript. Accompanied by "Engagements, as of 21 October 1991." 1 p. Typescript (photocopy).
  20. Denise Low. Letter, 1992 Jan. 8, Lawrence, Kan. [to] William Stafford, Lake Oswego, Or. 1 p. Typescript.
  21. William Stafford. Letter, 1992 July 6, Lake Oswego, Or. [to] Denise Low, [Lawrence, Kan.] / Bill Stafford. 1 p. Typescript, signed, with holograph annotation. Accompanied by "From Tombstones Back Home." 1 p. Typescript.
  22. Denise Low. Letter, 1992 Oct. 9, [Lawrence, Kan.] [to] William Stafford, [Lake Oswego, Or.] 1 p. Typescript.
  23. Denise Low. Letter, 1992 Dec. 21, Lawrence, Kan. [to] William Stafford, Lake Oswego, Or. 1 p. Typescript, annotated.
  24. William Stafford. Letter, 1992 Dec. 25, Lake Oswego, Or. [to] Denise Low, Lawrence, Kan. / Bill Stafford. 1 p. Typescript, signed. Accompanied by William Stafford, "Approach with Caution" for Pente Press, Lawrence, Kan. 1 p. Unpublished typescript. Also accompanied by envelope.
  25. William Stafford. Letter, 1993 May 11, Lake Oswego, Or. [to] Denise Low, Lawrence, Kan. / Bill Stafford. 1 p. Typescript, signed, on verso of broadside advertising Stafford's The Animal That Drank Up Sound. Accompanied by flyer for video portrait, The Life and Works of William Stafford, 2 cassettes (Ashland, Or.: TTTD Productions, [1993]. Also accompanied by envelope.
  26. Herman M. Swafford. Letter, 1993 Aug. 19, Prairie Village, Kan. [to] William Stafford, Lake Oswego, Or. 1 p. Typescript.
  27. William Stafford. Letter, 1993 Aug. 25, Lake Oswego, Or. [to] Herman M. Swafford, Prairie Village, Kan. / William Stafford. 1 p. Typescript, signed, with annotations. Accompanied by William Stafford, "In Camp," "It's All Right," "Poets to Consider for Next Season's Series," "Report from K9 Operator Rover on the Motel at Grand Island," "The Light by the Barn," "Trying to Tell It," "The Dream of Now," "The Trouble with Reading," "Reading with Little Sister: A Recollection." 9 pp. Printed in Passwords (New York: Harper and Collins, 1991) (photocopies). Also accompanied by William Stafford, "The Sky," "Tragedy," "Third Street," "Choosing a Dog," and "Epiphanies of an Old- Model Hoover." 5 pp. Typescripts (photocopies).
  28. Herman M. Swafford. Letter, 1993 Aug. 29, Prairie Village, Kan. [to] William Stafford, Lake Oswego, Or. 1 p. Typescript, signed (photocopy).
  29. Herman M. Swafford. Letter, 1993 Sept. 9, Prairie Village, Kan. [to] Denise Low, Lawrence, Kan. / HMS. 1 p. Typescript, signed.
  30. Herman M. Swafford. Letter, 1993 Sept. 24, Prairie Village, Kan. [to] Denise Low, Lawrence, Kan. / HMS. 1 p. Typescript, signed.
  31. William Stafford. Interview, conducted by Linda Rodriguez, Potpourri (Spring 1994).
  32. Denise Low. "William Stafford 1914-1993: The Patron Saint of Poets," Re-Publish (Spring 1994): 5-6. Also contains William Stafford, "The Sky," "Tragedy," and Choosing a Dog."
  33. "The Friends of the Library in Kansas City, Kansas present the 5th annual Edgar Wolfe Literary Award honoring William Stafford (1914-1993), Kim Stafford, accepting; 1:00 pm, Saturday, April 9, 1994, West Wyandotte Library, 1737 N. 82nd Street." Kansas City, Kan.: Friends of the Library, 1994.
  34. The Friends of the Library in Kansas City, Kansas Present the Edgar Wolfe Literary Award. Broadside No. 5 (Kansas City, Kan.: Friends of the Library, 1994). Signed by Stanley E. Banks, David Ray, Phil Miller, Kim R. Stafford, Fred White head, Robert Day, and Denise Low.
  35. William Stafford. Photograph. Inscribed on verso: "William Stafford, Photo by Kit Stafford."
  36. [Denise Low]. Letter, 1994 Apr. 11, Lawrence, Kan. [to] [G. Barnes], Salt Lake City, Ut. Typescript (photocopy).
  37. Obituaries and Newspaper Articles:
    1. "Festival Waxes Poetic" and "Calapooya Collage Celebrates No. 17 at Poetry Festival," Oregonian, Aug. 6, 1993. Photocopy.
    2. Paul Pintarich, "A Great Poet Rests, But His Music Takes Flight in Our Hearts," Oregonian, Aug. 30, 1993. Photocopy.
    3. Wolfgang Saxon, "William Edgar Stafford, Professor and Poet of the West, Dies at 79," New York Times, Aug. 31, 1993. Photocopy.
    4. "William Stafford, 1914-1993," Oregonian, Aug. 31, 1993. Photocopy.
    5. Bud Norman, "William Stafford Could Be Taken for Kansas' Poet," Wichita Eagle, Aug. 31, 1993. Photocopy.
    6. "Poet William Edgar Stafford dies at 79," Kansas City Star, Aug. 31, 1993. Clipping.
    7. "A Gathering of Friends," Oregonian, Sept. 1, 1993. Photocopy.
    8. Steve Paul, "William Stafford Was No Longer a Resi dent But Very Much a Native," Kansas City Star, Sept. 5, 1993. Clipping.
    9. "Round up the Usual Suspects," Calapooya Collage No. 17 (1994). Photocopy.
    10. George Gurley, "William Stafford's Poetry Rides Words to Wider Meaning," Kansas City Star, Apr. 3, 1994. Clipping.
  38. Judith Kitchen. Postcard, 1991 Feb. 23, Kansas City, Mo. [to] Denise Low, Lawrence, Kan. Holograph, signed.
  39. Robert N. Lawson. Letter, 1995 July 6, Topeka, Kan. [to] Denise Low, Lawrence, Kan. / Bob Lawson. 1 p. Typescript, signed. Accompanied by Denise Low, letter, 1995 July 31, [Lawrence, Kan.] [to] Robert Lawson, [Topeka, Kan.] 1 p. Typescript.
  40. Denise Low. Letter, 1996 Sept. 9, Lawrence, Kan. [to] Gene DeGruson, Pittsburg, Kan. / Denise Low. 1 p. Typescript, signed. Deposits correspondence with William Stafford in Kansas Collection of Axe Library; discusses "lasting influence of Kansas culture on [Stafford's] work" and editing the anthology, Kansas Poems of William Stafford. Accompanied by envelope. Quoted in part in the introduction to this collection.

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