Born in Kansas, William Stafford was educated in the Midwest and has taught at Lewis and Clark College in Oregon. He is a consciously "Western poet, a word-painter of Western landscapes. He is often linked with Robert Bly and James Wright as a poet of deep imagery. He has said: "My poetry seems to me direct and communicative, with some oddity and variety. It is usually not formal. It is much like talk, with some enhancement."