Trinity University Press

William Stafford

William Stafford was born in Hutchinson, Kansas, in 1914 and was a pacifist and prolific poet and writer. During his lifetime he published more than sixty-five volumes of poetry, including Traveling Through the Dark, which received the 1963 National Book Award. His many distinguished honors include the Shelley Memorial Award, a Guggenheim fellowship, and a Western States Lifetime Achievement Award in Poetry. He also served as the twentieth consultant in poetry to the Library of Congress in 1970 (a position now known as poet laureate). He was drafted 1940 and served as a conscientious objector, and he later wrote a memoir about conscientious objectors, Down in My Heart. At the time of his death, in 1993, Stafford lived in Portland, Oregon.

The Osage Orange Tree

The Osage Orange Tree, a never-before-published story by beloved poet William Stafford, is about young love complicated by misunderstanding and the insecurity of adolescence, set against the backdrop of poverty brought on by the Great Depression.  The narrator recalls a girl he once knew. He and Evangeline, both shy, never find the courage to speak to each other in high school. Every evening,...

Photo of William Stafford