Some of the most important poets writing today come together to celebrate Copper Canyon Press, an institution that has had an outsized role in sustaining the artform for more than half a century. Marking Copper Canyon Press’s 50th anniversary as an independent publisher dedicated to poetry, this reading by a Pulitzer Prize winner and a Poet Laureate testifies to poetry’s remarkable adaptability. Jericho Brown delivers innovative poetic forms that express the pain—and beauty—of Black and queer life. And Paisley Rekdal presents 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 opens 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 then introduces the readers, joining all the participants afterward in a closing conversation about poetry’s continued importance as we face the future.