Copper Canyon Press
Founded 1972
Founder Sam Hamill, Tree Swenson
Country of origin United States
Headquarters location Port Townsend, Washington
Distribution Consortium Book sales & distribution
Publication types Poetry
Official website

Copper Canyon Press [1] is an independent, non-profit small press, specializing in the publication of contemporary American poetry.

Overview[edit | edit source]

Located in the picturesque town of Port Townsend, Washington, Copper Canyon Press was founded in 1972 by Sam Hamill and Tree Swenson. Since 1972, the Press has published poetry exclusively and has established an international reputation for its commitment to authors, editorial acumen, and dedication to the poetry audience. Copper Canyon Press has been called the best independent publisher of poetry in America by writer Jim Harrison.[2]

Copper Canyon Press publishes new collections of poetry by both revered and emerging American poets, translations of classical and contemporary work from many of the world's cultures, re-issues of out-of-print poetry classics, anthologies, and prose books about poetry.

The press achieved national stature when Copper Canyon poet, W.S. Merwin, won the 2005 National Book Award for Poetry in the same year another Copper Canyon poet, Ted Kooser, won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. Merwin later won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry and in 2010 was named United States Poet Laureate[3]. Copper Canyon has published more than 400 titles, including works by Nobel Prize Laureates Pablo Neruda, Odysseas Elytis, Octavio Paz, Antonio Machado and Rabindranath Tagore; Pulitzer Prize-winners Ted Kooser, Carolyn Kizer, Maxine Kumin, Theodore Roethke, and W.S. Merwin; National Book Award winners Hayden Carruth, Lucille Clifton, and Ruth Stone; and some of the most original contemporary poets and translators such as Jim Harrison, C. D. Wright, Bill Porter (Red Pine), Norman Dubie, Eleanor Wilner, Arthur Sze, James Richardson and Lucia Perillo.

History[edit | edit source]

Like many arts organizations, Copper Canyon Press[4] was launched with abundant passion and vision by a few dedicated individuals. Sam Hamill, Tree Swenson, and other associates founded Copper Canyon Press in Denver, Colorado, after relocating from the University of California at Santa Barbara, where Hamill had received an award for editing the best college literary magazine in the nation. Using the $500 prize money, Hamill and Swenson, along with James Gautney and William O'Daly, bought printing equipment in 1972 and began work on the first book, which came out in 1973.

In 1974, Hamill and Swenson moved Copper Canyon Press to Port Townsend, Washington, where it established a permanent residency with Centrum, a nonprofit arts agency, at Fort Worden State Park. In its early years in Port Townsend, the Press issued mostly small editions, providing broader distribution for the work of new and well established writers. In 1983, the Press suspended the publication of the hand-bound, letter-pressed limited editions in order to concentrate fully on producing and marketing trade books that would maintain the highest possible standards of typography and design. In 1990, Copper Canyon became a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit, created a Board of Directors, and began receiving financial support from individuals and foundations.

Today, Copper Canyon Press comprises a community devoted to the power of poetry in our lives: poets, readers, volunteers, funders, booksellers, librarians, professors, reviewers, colleagues, interns, board, and staff who share a conviction that a good poem sharpens our appreciation of the world, invigorates the language, and nourishes the soul. Because of this community the Press has survived and thrived for nearly forty years.

Noted publications[edit | edit source]

File:Pt Townsend, WA Ft. Worden buildings 01.jpg

Fort Worden, location of Copper Canyon Press

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

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