Poet Sam Hamill, the founding editor of poetry publisher Copper Canyon Press, died on April 14 at his home in Anacortes, Wash., after a series of health complications. He was 74.
Hamill co-founded Copper Canyon Press in 1972 and helped develop the careers of numerous poets. He left Copper Canyon in 2004, but continued to write and read poetry.
Hamill is the author and translator of numerous poetry collections and has edited a large number of anthologies. Hamill's most recent collection, Habitation: Collected Poems, was released in 2014 by the University of Washington Press. His poetry has been translated into more than a dozen languages. Hamill has been awarded fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, and the Mellon Fund, and has won the Stanley Lindberg Lifetime Achievement Award for Editing and the Washington Poets Association Lifetime Achievement Award.
“During his many years at Copper Canyon Press, Sam was a fierce advocate for poets and poetry. Copper Canyon would not be what it is today without his influence,” said Michael Wiegers, editor-in-chief of Copper Canyon. “The poetry world has lost a great advocate.”