R277. CANCELLED: A Tribute to W.S. Merwin, Sponsored by Copper Canyon Press & Write On, Door County

HemisFair Ballroom C3, Henry B. González Convention Center, Ballroom Level
Thursday, March 5, 2020
3:20 pm to 4:35 pm


W.S. Merwin was a two-time Pulitzer prize-winning author, United States poet laureate, Academy of American Poets Chancellor, environmental activist, and translator. His impact on American literature was profound. One of the nation’s most decorated and prolific poets, Merwin published over fifty books, including The Shadow of Sirius (Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, 2009), Migration: New and Selected Poems (National Book Award, 2007), and The Carrier of Ladders (Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, 1971). His poetry, as well as his life as a poet, was flavored with a moral and political imperative. Merwin passed away in March 2019, at his home in Hawaii. In this memorial event, his longtime poetry editor at Copper Canyon Press, Michael Wiegers, will be joined by Naomi Shihab Nye, Forrest Gander, and Matthew Zapruder to read and discuss poems by this tremendous friend, activist, and creative presence.



A veteran of independent publishing for nearly three decades, Michael Wiegers is the executive editor / editor-in-chief of Copper Canyon Press. He additionally serves as poetry editor for Narrative magazine, and he edited The Essential Merwin and two retrospective volumes of the poetry of Frank Stanford, including Hidden Water and What about This, which was a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist and recipient of the Balcones Award in Poetry. A translator of Spanish language poetry, he co-edited with Monica de la Torre, Reversible Monuments: Contemporary Mexican Poetry.

Naomi Shihab Nye has been a Lannan Fellow, a Guggenheim Fellow, and a Witter Bynner Fellow (Library of Congress). She has received a Lavan Award from the Academy of American Poets, the Isabella Gardner Poetry Award, the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award, the Paterson Poetry Prize, and four Pushcart Prizes.

Forrest Gander’s Be With won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry. Core Samples from the World was a finalist for the Pulitzer and the National Book Critics Circle Award. Gander's translations include Alice Iris Red Horse, Poems by Gozo Yoshimasu and Then Come Back: The Lost Neruda Poems.

Matthew Zapruder is editor at large for Wave Books, and teaches poetry in the Saint Mary's College of California MFA. His most recent book of poems is Sun Bear. Why Poetry, a book of prose, was published in summer 2017.


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center