Meet the Interns: Summer 2020

It’s been our privilege to welcome a group of five fantastic interns to the Press this summer for our first ever remote internship program—and it’s our pleasure to introduce you to each of them here. Check back here for #MeettheInternMonday as we post new 60-Second Q&As for the next five weeks. 

P.S. Interested in a remote internship with us this fall? Applications are due July 1. Learn more.

Meet Lee

CCP: What’s your favorite aspect of the intern experience at Copper Canyon Press so far?

L: I really appreciate the responsibility with which the Press has trusted us interns. I’ve always wanted to be involved in getting poetry to the people, and I love getting my hands dirty as soon as possible when starting a new project. From the beginning, staff have trusted us with serious tasks: interacting with manuscripts that have just arrived at the Press and helping to prepare for the seasonal sales meeting. I’ve learned so much from the work we’ve already done, and the Copper Canyon staff continue to be a wonderful community of mentors as we interns get familiar with the ins and outs of nonprofit publishing.

CCP: Please tell us about a forthcoming Copper Canyon title you’re excited about, and why. 

L: I’m grateful for the opportunity to have read the manuscript for Arthur Sze‘s upcoming collected works. Sze’s images, which masterfully link the mind and the body with language, somehow manifest both the visceral and the serene in a way that continues to inform my understanding of the way we interact with the world. Though I’m most looking forward to his new poems, I’m also excited for readers unfamiliar with his work to have access to (nearly) all of his poems in a single volume!

CCP: Please give us a line from a poem that you can’t get out of your head.

L: Lines from Adrienne Rich’s “Diving Into the Wreck” have been echoing in my brain lately. She writes, “the thing I came for: / the wreck and not the story of the wreck / the thing itself and not the myth.”  For one, I continue to reckon with the capitalist myths that undergird the wreck of institutional racism. I’ve also been thinking about what makes a poem great, and found some understanding here. These lines are a brilliant “ars poetica”—as I read them, Rich tells us that great poetry, paradoxically, must embody and contend with both “things” and their contexts, without being able to fully manifest a “thing” or explain a history. 

Meet Rachel

CCP: What’s your favorite aspect of the intern experience at Copper Canyon Press so far?

R: Every facet of Copper Canyon is constantly engaged with all kinds of groundbreaking, artistic collaborations. It’s amazing to look behind the curtain at how a book gets made—and to ultimately aid in developing incredible, new art. I have always loved and needed poetry, and now I am a part of bringing it into the world. As interns, we are deeply involved in the operations of the press, and I feel so proud to have a role in these collaborative, poetic processes.

CCP: Please tell us about a forthcoming Copper Canyon title you’re excited about, and why. 

R: I’m definitely excited about Cardinal, Tyree Daye’s new book. He’s such an intelligent and visual writer, and his imaginative use of language is really exciting to see on the page. I love how he can carry an image across poems, and by doing so he can transform that image right before our eyes. His work is so visceral and necessary.

CCP: Please give us a line from a poem that you can’t get out of your head.

R: I’ve had Yeats’s “The Lake Isle of Innisfree” in my head for weeks. I’m captivated by its rhythm and its turn towards a not-so-isolated isolation. “I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree… and live alone in the bee-loud glade.” The speaker is on the precipice of aloneness, but he fills the poem with all the ways he won’t be alone. I think this has been an important tension for me to live in, especially during this moment where it’s so easy to feel physically or sociopolitically isolated. Yeats offers a new way to hold all of that.

Meet Jenna

CCP: What’s your favorite aspect of the intern experience at Copper Canyon Press so far?

J: I really appreciate how invested the Press is in ensuring that the internship is a meaningful and educational experience. It’s been enlightening to learn about all the different aspects of publishing a book—from editing to production to marketing to development—and deeply fulfilling to engage with parts of the process and offer creative input. Foremost, I get to spend time with poetry, read and write in a collective, creatively energetic space—it’s a gift of a summer. 

CCP: Please tell us about a forthcoming Copper Canyon title you’re excited about, and why. 

J: I loved reading Water I Won’t Touch by Kayleb Rae Candrilli. Its Appalachian foothill familiarity. How they write this landscape, this body of tenderness and rust, violence, longing, and love. Kayleb has such a gift for writing beauty that, while complicated, remains uncompromised. There’s a non-plaintive hope to this collection, that in the task of living, the smallest joys are never scarce.

CCP: Please give us a line from a poem that you can’t get out of your head.

J: Jericho Brown’s “’N’em” has been staying with me since a virtual reading last week. The poem remembers an older generation, cultivates familiar relation and idiosyncratic feeling, ends “Then another century came. People like me forgot their names.” I’ve been thinking lately about how to hold onto the entropy of a moment, of a collective as it’s taken into history. This is a way that feels loving and un-romanticized.