Tonight, Jan. 16, 2013 at 7 p.m., Los Porteños writers group will sponsor a free William Stafford Birthday Reading to commemorate the life and work of Oregon's renowned poet at the Milagro Theatre (525 SE Stark St., Portland).
William Stafford, Oregon's beloved Poet Laureate spent four years in conscientious objector camps during World War II. Much of his work expresses a yearning for harmony and social justice, and his poems speak of how to live courageously. These concerns are close to the heart of much of the work presented on the stage of Milagro and to the members of Los Porteños.
Hosted by poet and playwright Cindy Williams Gutierrez, a Friends of William Stafford volunteer, the Stafford event was launched with Los Porteños in 2011. Cindy writes, "Stafford was a pacifist; he yearned for peace. I also consider him a poet of place, with a strong connection to the land."
William Stafford was born on January 17, 1914, and during the month of January readings of his work are held throughout Oregon and the world. However the reading offered by Los Porteños is unique: it is the only one where writers share original works of poetry and prose written in response to Stafford, it is the only one that is presented in a theatre, and the only that will be multilingual. This is the 3rd annual Los Porteños reading at the Milagro Theatre.
The reading will feature Los Porteños members Frank Delgado, Catherine Evleshin, Joann Farías, Joaquín López, Octaviano Merecías-Cuevas, Emma Oliver, Olga Sanchez, Kildem Soto, and Juan Antonio Trujillo. In the communal tradition of this annual series, the featured readers will be followed by audience participation. Audience members are encouraged to bring their favorite William Stafford poem to share.
This event, which will be primarily in English, is free and open to the public. Youth and school groups are encouraged to attend and present their work.
Miracle Theatre Group has been dedicated to bringing the vibrancy of Latino theatre to the Northwest community and beyond for more than 28 seasons. In addition to its national tours, Miracle provides a home for Spanish and Latino arts and culture at El Centro Milagro, where it enriches the local community with a variety of community outreach projects and educational programs designed to share the diversity of Latino culture. For more information about the Miracle Theatre Group, visit www.milagro.org or call 503-236-7253.