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Bring this transformational new poetry book to life! With your help, Indigo will be published by Copper Canyon Press in spring 2020 alongside nine other extraordinary collections.
Ellen Bass is a bestselling author and lifelong activist. We’re bringing her work to Kickstarter because we want to be sure the whole world knows about this national treasure—a poet who sees deeply and writes generously.
In Indigo, Ellen explores the duality of loss and exquisite tenderness that lives at the heart of almost everything. She plumbs the miraculous from the stuff of life—the grit of oysters, scrubbing mud from the knees of jeans, taking an old dog out in the night. And in a series of aching love poems, through the difficulties of illness and aging, the mundanity of marriage gives way to vivid and joyful sensuality.
In Indigo, Ellen Bass offers the ragged, beautiful world her steady attention, her devastating precision. These are poems to be savored, graceful in their melding of the narrative and lyric, gorgeous in their complexity.
The title, Indigo, echoes an emotionally evocative, highly personal poem by the same name, originally published in The New Yorker and republished by The Academy of American Poets. The key image in the title poem—a vividly tattooed young man—also inspired the book’s cover design.
Around sixty pages long, this paperback edition will be printed according to the highest standards, on quality paper, with interior and cover designed by Katy Homans. The physical quality of our books is one of the hallmarks of Copper Canyon Press publications.
Ellen Bass has published several award-winning books of poetry, including Like a Beggar, The Human Line, and Mules of Love. Her poems have frequently appeared in The New Yorker, American Poetry Review, and many other journals. She coedited the groundbreaking anthology of women’s poetry, No More Masks!, and her nonfiction includes the best-selling The Courage To Heal. Among her awards are fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the California Arts Council, three Pushcart prizes, and the Lambda Literary Award. A Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, she teaches in the MFA writing program at Pacific University, and lives with her wife in Santa Cruz, California.
Ellen is a lifelong advocate for those who might otherwise go without a witness, including the LGBTQ community, survivors of abuse, and incarcerated people. Her compassion shows itself in the pages of Indigo.
There is abundant inspiration on every page of Indigo. To get a glimpse at what’s in store, here are links to a few poems:
“It would take many/ births to be done with the thatness of that.// Oh blame life. That we just want more.”
Your contribution will help publish Indigo and books by nine other authors this spring:
We must raise $25k by December 11th in order to receive any of the funds pledged to this Kickstarter campaign. This amount will help move Indigo and our other Copper Canyon Press spring releases through the final stages of production and into distribution, but it is far from our total expenses. If (when!) we reach our goal, we will set our sights on a stretch goal—stay tuned for an exciting announcement at that time!
We are grateful to Ellen for joining us in raising awareness about the importance of supporting independent publishing and poetry.
As a nonprofit publisher of poetry, only half of our overall operational expenses are covered by book sales, so each pledge helps us to sustain our community-powered model of getting poetry into the hands of those who’ll benefit from it. We turn to our community (that’s you!) to help us continue to publish poetry that matters. Thank you for helping us get there!
For more than 45 years, Copper Canyon Press has been operating as an independent publisher dedicated to poetry. Our nonprofit status enables and requires us to place art above profit, and creative freedom above the whims of the marketplace. We are able to operate in the name of aesthetic excellence and cultural relevance, specifically because you and other visionary community members share this value, which is essential to a healthy climate for the arts. Not unlike independent record companies and public radio stations, we rely on the support of donors like you, who share our belief that poetry is vital to language and living. The Kickstarter community in particular has helped us to publish major collections including Here: Poems for the Planet, Ursula K. Le Guin’s So Far So Good, Then Come Back: The Lost Poems of Pablo Neruda, The Essential W.S. Merwin, and Aimee Nezhukumatathil’s Oceanic. We are proud to publish extraordinary poetry—in collaboration and community with you.
We are far enough along in the production process to excitedly anticipate spring 2020 released for INDIGO and each of the spring titles listed above. To get the poems to the masses will require a generous and supportive group effort from poetry readers and the Kickstarter community. Now we begin the work of reaching all the people we believe will feel inspired and empowered by the poetry of Ellen Bass and other Copper Canyon authors—we can do this together!