Poet and essayist Kim Stafford will offer a new look on process and discovery in writing when he visits Suffolk University as a Distinguished Scholar this month.

"He knows how to make the people around him feel how great it is to be engaged in the process of writing," says Professor Fred Marchant, Director of Suffolk's creative writing program. Stafford, who directs the Northwest Writing Institute at Lewis & Clark College in Oregon, will be featured during a reading at the Poetry Center as a Visiting Scholar between February 10th and 12th.

Stafford will also visit classes on contemporary poetry and writers in America, as well Marchant's poetry workshop. On Friday, Stafford will join a monthly faculty gathering discussing a new discipline known as "peace studies."

“In Stafford's case, his pacifism and affirmative vision give him the ability to see how conflicts can lead to resolution, which informs his writing, making it spiritual in a way that becomes metaphysical,” Marchant notes.

"I think of his writing as spiritual," he continues, "it's very reflective, as though you had all the time in the world to think it through." Stafford is the author of a dozen books of poetry and prose, has received two creative writing fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, and his book Having Everything Right won a Western States Book Award in 1986. He also received an Oregon Governor's Arts Award in 1998.

Stafford will read selections of his work along with Kevin Bowen, a poet and translator who directs the William Joiner Center for the Study of War and Social Consequences at UMass Boston, at the Suffolk University Poetry Center in the Sawyer Library at 73 Tremont Street on Thursday, Feb. 11, at 7 p.m.

For more information about he Distinguished Visiting Scholars Program, please visit the program website.

- Jim Cronin