Tree Swenson

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Tree Swenson (born 1951) is the Executive Director of Richard Hugo House, the Seattle-based non-profit writing center. [1] Throughout her life, she has been deeply involved with poetry, independent publishing and American literary foundations. She was the co-founder of Copper Canyon Press.

Holly Swenson was born in Utah and grew up in Montana. As a student at the University of California at Santa Barbara in the late 1960s, she began using the nickname "Tree" and became involved in the West Coast poetry scene.

Swenson met poet Sam Hamill at UCSB and, in 1972, they formed Copper Canyon Press, an independent press based in Port Townsend, Washington that is dedicated to publishing poetry.[2] Swenson was the Publisher and Executive Director of Copper Canyon Press for twenty years and helped publish the work of hundreds of poets, including Nobel Prize winners Pablo Neruda and Vicente Aleixandre and Pulitzer Prize winner, W.S. Merwin[3]

In 1992, Swenson left Copper Canyon Press, moved to Boston and became Director of Programs for the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

Ms. Swenson became Executive Director of the Academy of American Poets in April, 2002 and led this non-profit organization for ten years.[4] She was instrumental in turning the Academy into a well-known national organization for American poets.


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