William Stafford Biography | Author of At the Bomb Testing Site

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William Stafford was born on January 17, 1914 in Hutchinson, Kansas, where he lived until his mid-teens. Hit hard by the Depression, Stafford's family moved many times as his father searched for work. Stafford earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Kansas, and had nearly completed a master's degree when World War II began in 1942. Registered as a conscientious objector, Stafford was incarcerated in public service camps, and spent the four years of the war cutting trails, fighting forest fires, and terracing eroding land in Arkansas, California, and Illinois. As a pacifist in a country that saw so many of its young men killed, he faced public scorn, suspicion, and enmity.

In the camps, Stafford began a routine of rising early to write every morning, a habit that lasted throughout his life and informed his style and philosophy of writing. In 1944, he married Dorothy Hope Frantz, with whom he...

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This section contains 494 words
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Poetry for Students
At the Bomb Testing Site from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.