Every academic year, the creative writing program invites several distinguished writers to campus to give a public reading and spend time with our students. Since 2014, the Department of English and the Creative Writing Program have hosted the annual Jake Adam York Memorial Reading. The reading was founded to honor the memory of Jake Adam York, a poet and editor who taught at the University of Colorado Denver from 2000-2012, and passed away suddenly in December 2012. During his time at CU Denver, Jake helped start the creative writing program and founded the university’s award-winning national literary journal,Copper Nickel. Jake’s poetry engaged in an ongoing and ambitious project of elegizing the martyrs of the Civil Rights Movement. He accepted the burden of history in his work and wrote with unflinching passion, courage, and moral complexity about life in the South. Thus, this annual reading in his memory features a distinguished poet or prose writer whose work, like Jake’s, engages with history and/or issues of social importance.

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