David Budbill

Poet and Playwright David Budbill Dies at 76

David Budbill, well-known Vermont poet and playwright, passed away peacefully on Sunday, September 25, 2016, after struggling with complications from progressive supranuclear palsy, a rare form of Parkinson’s Disease. 

Budbill was famous for his plainspoken poetry and his rejection of the esoteric. Booklist dubbed him “one of the most readable American poets ever.”

Copper Canyon was honored to publish three of David's books, with a fourth, Tumbling Toward the End, scheduled for release in Spring 2017.

“Through direct speech and stubborn determination, David Budbill's poetry was marked with the same incredible generosity and inclusion that identified the man himself,” said his longtime editor and friend, Michael Wiegers.

Asked about the sources of his inspiration, Budbill responded with characteristic bluntness: “It comes from out of nowhere, from my imagination, from the voices I hear, from somewhere. In short, I don’t know where it comes from, and I don’t care.”

Happy Life (2011), Budbill’s most recent book with Copper Canyon Press, exemplifies the poet’s ruminative approach to finding a life of contentment in a complicated world. The book contains the poem “Sometimes,” which ends:

I know in the next minute or tomorrow all this may be taken from me,

and therefore I've got to say, right now, what I feel and know and see,

I've got to say, right now, how beautiful and sweet this world can be.

An event to celebrate David’s life and work is planned for 2017.  In lieu of flowers, the family requested that donations be made in his name to Copper Canyon Press or an arts or peace and justice organization of your choice.

Make a memorial donation to Copper Canyon Press in David Budbill's honor.