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


Thank you to all who joined us for the Jim Harrison Book Launch and celebration of Jim Harrison: Complete Poems 


  • Amy Hundley, Jim’s editor at Grove Atlantic
  • Peter Lewis, Jim’s dear friend and travel companion
  • John Freeman, poet and founding editor of Freeman’s Journal
  • Joseph Bednarik, Jim’s editor at Copper Canyon Press

You can watch the broadcast here

The broadcast is also available on our Facebook Page.


“This robust volume is [a] landmark collection.”―Booklist, starred review.

You can make an enduring investment in The Heart’s Work: Jim Harrison’s Poetic Legacy by supporting the publication and promotion of our most recent title, Jim Harrison: Complete Poems—a gorgeous tour de force that contains every poem Jim published, as well as a selection of previously unpublished “Last Poems.” Early praise includes starred reviews from Booklist and Library Journal, and The New York Journal of Books proclaimed:

“This densely rich book…places Harrison among the pantheon of our best American poets.” 

As a nonprofit publisher, we rely on philanthropic support from donors to help publish and promote our books. We invite you to make a donation in support of The Heart’s Work and receive Jim Harrison: Complete Poems in one or both of these formats:

Left: A single-volume “Statement Book” 
Right: Limited Edition Three-Volume Box Set (80 sets left)


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

In addition, each of the four volumes contains 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.”

Advancing Jim Harrison’s Poetic Legacy

As we continue The Heart’s Work, we are deeply grateful for donations from readers who love Jim’s work and want to see his poems find a new generation of readers. You can join this group of supporters and enjoy some of the rewards listed below.

Please join The Heart’s Work!

Giving Levels & Rewards

Due to high demand, the first edition of the single volume of Complete Poems is no longer available through Copper Canyon Press. Copies are currently available at a wide range of independent stores like Elliott Bay, City Lights, Lemuria, Horizon Books, and Square Books. Please know we have ordered a second printing which will be ready to ship during National Poetry Month, April 2022.

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

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

$50+:  Paperback copy of The Essential Poems

  • All donors at $50 or above will receive Jim Harrison: The Essential Poems. This is the first book we produced as part of the Heart’s Work project. Lit Hub said “this book grabs you by the collar and tells you in eleven hundred ways to wake up.” For those who are new to Jim’s poetry, this is a great place to start.

$100+: Complete Poems plus Collected Ghazals

  • All donors at $100 or above will receive a hardback of Jim Harrison: Complete Poems directly from Copper Canyon Press.
  • Collected Ghazals 

$250+: Limited Edition Box Set

  • Hardback of Jim Harrison: Complete Poems and
  • A copy of the three-volume box set of Jim Harrison: Complete Poems. The print run for this edition is limited to 750 copies, with the majority of those copies destined for bookstore accounts. (As of November 2021 there are over 650 backorders and donor reservations.)  The remaining sets will be made available exclusively to donors of The Heart’s Work: Jim Harrison’s Poetic Legacy. This donor benefit will remain in effect while supplies last. Shipment will be in January 2022.

$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 (while supplies last)

$2,500+: Signed Limited Editions of Saving Daylight 

  • All of the above, plus:
  • A signed, numbered copy of Saving Daylight (while supplies last).


Help Spread the Word

Our goal is to gather together 1,000 donors in support of Jim Harrison’s poetic legacy. 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.