David Cope is a poet, teacher and gardener. David studied the art with Robert Hayden, Allen Ginsberg and Jim Cohn. He taught Shakespeare, Drama, Creative Writing, Multicultural Literature, Women’s Studies, and Intro to Philosophy at Grand Rapids Community College for 22 years, completing his education while serving as a school custodian 18 years before that. Among other awards, Cope won a Pushcart Prize (1977) and the Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters Award in Literature in 1988. He has published nine poetry books and two chapbooks. David has been editor and publisher of Big Scream magazine from 1974-2021 (60 issues, over 250 poets published), and Poet Laureate of Grand Rapids, Mi. (2011-2014).
Later publications include The Invisible Keys: New and Selected Poems 1975-2017 (Ghost Pony Press, 2018); he has been widely translated in China. His work appeared and was the subject of critical discussion in vol. II (1379-1386) of Zhang Ziqing’s three volume study, A History of 20th Century American Poetry. Nine of his poems were included in translations by Zhang in Poetry Periodical (Beijing), which led to his journey as the only American conferee at the Suining International Poetry Week and Chen Zi’ang Poetry Awards in Sichuan, China (March, 2019). His work from that journey appears in A Bridge Across the Pacific (Jabber Publications, 2020). In 2021, David published The Correspondence of David Cope and Allen Ginsberg (1976-1996) with Giant Steps Press, a bildungsroman in letters and a major career retrospective. He is currently editing and revising Moonlight Rose in Blue: The Collected Poems of David Cope and Spirit Journeys: The Collected Prose of David Cope.
PUBLICATIONS & FEATURES
- “Moving On: 41 Years of Big Scream / Nada Press. David Cope Interviewed by Jim Cohn.”
- Big Bridge. Ed. Michael Rothenberg. June 2015.