School navigation

Northwest Writing Institute (NWI)

100 Tricks Every Boy Can Do–Celebrating Kim Stafford’s newest book

September 28, 2012

Bret and Kim Stafford, the oldest boys of the Poet Laureate and pacifist William Stafford, were close. As children, they never fought and were inseparable, yet each had their own unique place within the family. Bret was the good son, the obedient public servant; Kim the itinerant wanderer. Though their home was full of love, there was a code of silence about hard things: “Why tell what hurts?”

As childhood pleasures ebbed, this reticence took its toll on Bret. Against a backdrop of the 1950s and 60s, Bret—a puritan in the summer of love, a conscientious objector in the Vietnam era—became a casualty of his own interior war and took his life, leaving the family—and Kim—to endure the loss.

Taking its title from a pamphlet Bret ordered as a kid, 100 Tricks Every Boy Can Do is a memoir that works its own magic in portraying two brothers bound by love and friendship through boyhood and adolescence, forging their way into adulthood, together and then, ultimately, apart.

Through Kim’s devotions, he shares Bret’s life and what it teaches us about the secret nature of depression, the tender ancestry of violence, the quest for harmonious relations, and finally, the trick of joy.

About the Book

The publication date for 100 Tricks Every Boy Can Do is September 25, 2012 from Trinity University Press. Click here for the complete press release. 

Upcoming Readings & Events

October 29, 7:30 p.m.            

Powells Books, 1005 SW Broadway, Portland, OR, 503-228-4651  

November 8, 7 p.m.
Annie Blooms, 7834 SW Capitol Hwy, Portland, OR, 246-0053 

November 14, 7 p.m.         
Broadway Books, 1714 NE Broadway, Portland, OR, 503-284-1726

November 18, 12-4 p.m.    
Book signing, Audubon Society “Wild Arts Festival,” Montgomery Park, 2701 NW Vaughn, Portland, OR 

March 4-6, time TBA     
Associated Writing Programs, Boston, MA (Panel: “Writing Past the End”)

About the Author

imageKim Stafford has taught since 1979 at Lewis and Clark College, where he is the founding director of the Northwest Writing Institute and co-director of the Documentary Studies program. He also serves as the literary executor for the estate of William Stafford. He has worked as an oral historian, letterpress printer, editor, photographer, teacher, and visiting writer in communities and colleges across the country, and in Italy, Scotland, and Bhutan. Stafford has published a dozen books of poetry and prose, including The Muses Among Us: Eloquent Listening and Other Pleasures of the Writer’s Craft;Early Morning: Remembering My Father, William Stafford; and Having Everything Right: Essays of Place. He has received two National Endowment for the Arts fellowships, the Oregon Governor’s Arts Award, and a Western States Book Award. He lives in Portland, Oregon, with his wife and children.

Share this story on

Northwest Writing Institute (NWI)

Contact Us