The poems of William Stafford (1914-1993) are tied to the rural mountain west in their quietly grandiose ways. Our community has connected with his words through annual readings of his poetry and his poems can be found on plaques that accompany overlooks and riverwalks. What a surprise and honor it was for Methow Conservancy to ask True North Letterpress to create a poetry broadside with Stafford's poem, A Valley Like This. The commission commemorated the successful acquisition of Sunny M Ranch, a 1200 acre property on the valley floor of Winthrop, WA that will provide valuable access to public land for years to come.
In her forward to Stafford's The Osage Orange Tree, Naomi Shihab Nye speaks of Stafford’s belief that we must ‘find a hinge within ourselves that swings a door open wide’ and that even ‘something small but shining - a gaze that joins us for a moment’ can have a lasting, insightful affect on us. As a creative who turns to landscape for grounding and inspiration this project was an incredible opportunity and a great chance to revisit a few of my favorite William Stafford poems.