Vital to Language and Living: Copper Canyon Celebrates Its First Fifty Years

Ballroom 1, Summit Building, Seattle Convention Center, Level 5
Friday, March 10, 2023
1:45 pm to 3:00 pm


Since 1973, Copper Canyon Press has exercised an unwavering commitment to the art of poetry, the creative lives of poets, the alchemy of publishing, and the belief that poetry is vital to language and living. This reading and conversation features poets and translators who represent different aspects of Copper Canyon’s dynamic and diverse mission, who will read from their work, speak to the necessity for poetic truths, and converse with the long-time editor who has championed their work. This event will be livestreamed. ASL interpretation and live captioning will be provided.



Michael Wiegers has been acquiring and editing books for Copper Canyon Press since 1993, and currently serves as the Press’s Executive Editor/Editor in Chief. He has edited two retrospective volumes of the poetry of Frank Stanford, including What About This, which was a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist and received the Balcones Poetry Prize. He is also the poetry editor of Narrative and regularly speaks about the art of publishing at universities and colleges around the world.

Ellen Bass’s most recent collection, Indigo, was published by Copper Canyon Press in 2020. Her other poetry books include Like a Beggar, The Human Line, and Mules of Love. Among her awards are Fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, The NEA, and The California Arts Council, The Lambda Literary Award, and three Pushcart Prizes. A Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, Bass founded poetry workshops at Salinas Valley State Prison and the Santa Cruz, California jails, and teaches in the MFA writing program at Pacific University.

Bill Porter assumes the pen name Red Pine for his translation work. His translations have been honored with a number of awards, including two NEA translation fellowships, a PEN Translation Prize, and the inaugural Asian Literature Award of the American Literary Translators Association. He was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship to support work on Finding Them Gone, a book based on a pilgrimage to the graves and homes of China’s greatest poets of the past. Porter received the 2018 Thornton Wilder Prize for Translation bestowed by the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Paisley Rekdal is the author of a book of essays, The Night My Mother Met Bruce Lee; the hybrid photo-text memoir, Intimate; and six books of poetry: A Crash of Rhinos; Six Girls Without Pants; The Invention of the Kaleidoscope; Animal Eye, a finalist for the 2013 Kingsley Tufts Prize and winner of the UNT Rilke Prize; Imaginary Vessels, finalist for the 2018 Kingsley Tufts Prize, and Nightingale, which won the 2020 Washington State Book Award for Poetry. She is a Distinguished Professor at the University of Utah, where she is also the creator and editor of West: A Translation.

Amanda Gunn is a PhD candidate in English at Harvard where she works on Black pleasure and ephemerality. Her poems, whose subjects include women's labors, mental illness, addiction, and desire and the fat body, appear in Poetry, Poetry NW, and The Baffler. She is currently a Stegner Fellow.


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center