Some of the most important poets writing today came together at the Lensic and via Livestream to celebrate two institutions that have had an outsized role in sustaining the artform for more than half a century: Copper Canyon Press and Lannan Foundation. Marking Copper Canyon Press’s 50th anniversary as an independent publisher dedicated to poetry, this reading by Pulitzer Prize winners and Poets Laureate testified to poetry’s remarkable adaptability. Jericho Brown delivered innovative poetic forms that expressed the pain—and beauty—of Black and queer life. And Paisley Rekdal presented hybrid text-and-media works that reexamine the history of the West through the stories of the laborers who built it.
National Book Award winner and longtime Santa Fe resident Arthur Sze opened the event with a discussion of the history of Lannan Foundation and Copper Canyon Press and their importance to American literature. Copper Canyon Executive Editor Michael Wiegers then introduced the readers, joining all the participants afterward in a closing conversation about poetry’s continued importance as we face the future.