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50th Anniversary Reading with Jericho Brown, Paisley Rekdal, and Arthur Sze
October 19, 2023 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm MDT
Presented by Copper Canyon Press and Lannan Foundation
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501
Some of the most important poets writing today come 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 testifies to poetry’s remarkable adaptability. Jericho Brown will deliver innovative poetic forms that express the pain—and beauty—of Black and queer life. And Paisley Rekdal will present 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 will open 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 will then introduce the readers, joining all the participants afterward in a closing conversation about poetry’s continued importance as we face the future.
“By some literary magic―no, it’s precision, and Brown manages to bestow upon even the most public of subjects the most intimate and personal stakes.”—NPR
Jericho Brown is the author of three collections of poems, most recently The Tradition, which won the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry and was a finalist for the National Book Award. He is the recipient of several fellowships from institutions such as the Guggenheim and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Brown is currently the Charles Howard Candler Professor of English and Creative Writing.
“Rekdal is a poet of observation and history. . . . She revels in detail but writes vast, moral poems that help us live in a world of contraries. . . . These are some of the best lyric poems being written today.”—Los Angeles Times
Paisley Rekdal is the author of three works of nonfiction and several collections of poetry, most recently a poetry and multimedia work called West: A Translation, which was recently longlisted for the 2023 National Book Award. She is the recipient of fellowships and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the Academy of American Poets, among others. She is Distinguished Professor at the University of Utah, where she directs the American West Center, and she has served as Utah’s state Poet Laureate.
“Sze is simultaneously the microscope and telescope of the poetry world. And more. To truly attend to these poems is to begin to feel like you have been opened to a kaleidoscopic experience of the cosmos, a multisensual one whose kinetic foci gather moments across time and space, word and world.”—Terrain
Arthur Sze has published eleven books of poetry, including Sight Lines, which won the National Book Award, Compass Rose, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, and, most recently, The Glass Constellation: New and Collected Poems. Sze is the recipient of many honors, including the 2022 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize for Lifetime Achievement from the Poetry Foundation, a Lannan Literary Award, fellowships from the Guggenheim and National Endowment for the Arts fellowships, and grants from the Witter Bynner Foundation for Poetry. A Chancellor Emeritus at the Academy of American Poets and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, he is a professor emeritus at the Institute of American Indian Arts and was the first Poet Laureate of Santa Fe. His latest work, The Silk Dragon II: Translations of Chinese Poetry, will be published by Copper Canyon in 2024.
“Copper Canyon Press may be a little nonprofit publisher far from New York, but over the last 50 years, its editors in Port Townsend, Washington, have shaped and elevated American poetry.”—Washington Post
Michael Wiegers has been editing books for Copper Canyon Press since 1993, and currently serves as the Press’s Executive Editor/Editor in Chief. Most recently, he edited two anthologies of Copper Canyon Press poetry, both published this year: A House Called Tomorrow: 50 Years of Poetry and Come Shining: More Poems and Stories from Fifty Years of Copper Canyon Press. He is also the poetry editor of Narrative magazine and edited What About This: The Collected Poems of Frank Stanford, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and The Essential W.S. Merwin. He is currently at work on a book about the poet W.S. Merwin and serves as a trustee for the Merwin Conservancy.
Register for the livestream here: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_G3l0TwKcSPeTse-Up6eg7w#/registration
*UPDATE (October 05)*: We regret that Jorie Graham is no longer able to participate in this event, as originally listed.