July 8, 2010
A Footprint Bigger Than Its Foot
Sometimes a publisher has a footprint bigger than its foot. That certainly has to be the case with Copper Canyon Press. Respected if not revered by poetry patrons and literature lovers everywhere, Copper Canyon, since its founding in 1972, has developed an international reputation for doing (and doing well) what virtually all other publishers studiously avoid--publishing poetry. And we're not talking sentimental rhymes here. We're talking Nobel laureates and Pulitzer Prize winners.
So when I was recently in Port Townsend, Washington, the home of Copper Canyon, I made the pilgrimage. Here is a picture taken with my own hand of its humble abode, the international headquarters. Devoted volunteers and supporters help subsidize its operation. Clearly, they are not squandering author royalties here.
Given the size of its reputation, some may be surprised and perhaps disappointed at what they see here. All sorts of clichés come to mind that should never make their way into a Copper Canyon poem--looks can be deceiving, good things come in small packages, it's not the size of the dog in the fight but the size of the fight in the dog.
What also comes to mind is that it is beautiful to love words and to love words that are beautifully arranged to provoke, delight and enlighten us. I'm glad there are people dedicated to doing just that.