The Heart's Work: Jim Harrison's Poetic Legacy

You can make an enduring investment in Jim Harrison’s poetic legacy by supporting the publication of Jim Harrison: Complete Poems—a gorgeous tour-de-force that will contain every poem Jim published, as well as a selection of previously unpublished poems.

As a nonprofit publisher, we are raising needed financial support to publish Jim Harrison: Complete Poems in two formats:

Left: A single-volume “Statement Book” (retail price $40)
Right: Limited Edition Three-Volume Box Set (print run of 750)

These productions will be classically designed hardbacks, printed on acid-free paper and smyth-sewn, with cover art by Russell Chatham.

To catalyze a diverse and lively conversation about Jim’s poetry, each of the four volumes will contain an introduction from a renowned writer or literary critic, including:

  • Terry Tempest Williams, single volume
  • Colum McCann, Vol. 1 of set
  • Joy Williams, Vol. 2 of set
  • John Freeman, Vol. 3 of set

As Joy Williams writes in the introduction to Volume 2: “I’ve always loved Jim Harrison’s poetry—so full of itself, so direct and hungry and angered and awed. I think of him in many ways as a religious poet… he felt that only in poetry had he found ‘the right pen’ to write what he wanted to say.”

Help Secure and Advance Jim Harrison’s Poetic Legacy

Our goal in support of Complete Poems is to gather together 1,000 donors—readers who love Jim’s work and want to see his poems read for generations—to help underwrite the costs of design, production, editorial, distribution, and promotion associated with this ambitious undertaking.

All donors at the $100 level or higher will receive a copy of the Complete Poems statement volume.

Additional donor rewards include a limited edition broadside signed by Harrison; signed limited editions of Harrison’s poetry collections Saving Daylight and Dead Man’s Float. Complete listing of donor benefits below.

Please join The Heart’s Work!

Giving Levels & Rewards

$1+: Our gratitude for your support of The Heart’s Work

  • Every donation to The Heart’s Work receives our gratitude!

$50+: Statement Volume of Complete Poems Hot Off the Press

  • All donors at $50 or above will receive a first edition hardback of Jim Harrison: Complete Poems (retail price $40) directly from Copper Canyon Press, as soon as they arrive from the printer.

$250+: Limited Edition Box Set

  • All of the above, plus:
  • A copy of the limited edition three-volume box set of Jim Harrison: Complete Poems. The print run is 750, and this donor benefit will remain in effect while supplies last.

$500+: Signed Broadside (limited to first 40 donors)

  • All of the above, plus: 
  • The first forty donors at this level or higher will receive a signed broadside. In late 2015 Jim signed a small stack of Copper Canyon Press broadsides that featured his famous quote: “Poetry, at its best, is the language your soul would speak if you could teach your soul to speak.” These are likely the last broadsides Jim ever signed. An image of the broadside was featured in the “Heart’s Work” video.

$1,000+: Signed Limited Edition of Dead Man’s Float (limited to first 12 donors)

  • All of the above, plus:
  • The first 12 donors at this level or higher will also receive a signed, numbered copy of Dead Man’s Float. 

$2,500+: Signed Limited Editions of Saving Daylight (limited to first 4 donors)

  • All of the above, plus:
  • The first 4 donors at this level or higher will also receive a signed, numbered copy of Saving Daylight.

$5,000+:  Pablo Neruda Signed Collection (limited to one donor)claimed!

  • All of the above, plus: 
  • The first donor at this level will also receive a signed three-volume set of Pablo Neruda’s Obras Completas (1957) in the original Spanish. Jim Harrison loved Pablo Neruda’s poetry and even claimed to have discovered a lost Neruda poem, “En Veracruz en 1941,” which he translated and included in Saving Daylight. One of Copper Canyon’s longtime supporters donated this three volume set—each volume of which is signed in Neruda’s green ink. 


  • All of the above and our undying gratitude for your transformative support of Jim Harrison’s legacy as a great American poet!

Help Spread the Word

Our goal is to gather together 1,000 donors in support of Jim Harrison: Complete Poems by May 31. You can help spread the word by:

  • Announcing your donation on social media and including the link in your post:
  • Sending the link directly to your family and friends
  • Posting your favorite Jim Harrison poem on social media and including this link.

Jim Harrison and Copper Canyon Press: A Brief History

In the late 1990s, Jim Harrison signed his first contract with Copper Canyon Press to publish The Shape of the Journey: New and Collected Poems. From that moment on, Copper Canyon served as Jim’s exclusive poetry publisher, and over the next two decades released five more books of Jim’s original poetry, as well as numerous letterpress broadsides, signed limited editions, and a re-issue of the classic Letters to Yesenin. 

Jim was very loyal to us, and we are very loyal to him.

Photo by Robert Turney

As a literary icon, Jim could have published anywhere. He chose Copper Canyon because he was deeply committed to small independent publishers. And for his poetry especially—his “heart’s work,” as he called it—he valued our heightened attentiveness to design, production, and editing. Most importantly, he wanted his poetry books to stay in print. We assured him that we would never remainder any of his books, and we have kept good on that promise.

When Jim died in 2016, Copper Canyon became the steward of his poetic legacy. With the blessings of the James T. Harrison Estate, we launched an ambitious multi-phased program called “The Heart’s Work,” with the goals to:

  • Secure and advance Jim’s reputation as a poet
  • Cultivate new generations of readers for his work
  • Ensure his poetry is kept in print and available for decades to come

Please help secure and advance Jim Harrison’s poetic legacy by becoming a donor today.