Donations to Support the Jake Adam York Memorial Reading at the University of Colorado Denver


Dear Friends,

As many of you know, the Creative Writing Program at the University of Colorado Denver founded the Jake Adam York Memorial Reading in 2014 to honor the memory of our colleague, the poet and editor Jake Adam York, who passed away in 2012. During his twelve years at UCD, Jake helped start the creative writing program and founded UCD’s national literary journal, Copper Nickel. The memorial reading is held each spring semester and features a poet or prose writer whose work, like Jake’s poetry, engages with history and/or issues of social importance.

We have been very fortunate to have incredible writers for this event during its first two years. The poet Eduardo C. Corral was our inaugural reader in 2014, and last spring prose writer Danielle Evans was our featured guest. Both readings were huge successes, drawing large and diverse crowds of students and community members alike. We expect the success of this event to continue, and we’re proud to announce that in March 2016, poet Natalie Diaz will be joining us for the third annual Jake Adam York Memorial Reading. 

Those of you who knew Jake know just how many lives he impacted through his teaching, editing, writing, and mentoring. In fact, if you are reading this, there’s a good chance that you’ve been positively influenced by his presence in your own life in some big or small way. You counted him as a friend. Or he was your teacher that pushed you harder than you’ve ever been pushed. Or he published your work in Copper Nickel once, twice, even three times. Or you witnessed his remarkable intelligence on a panel at AWP. Or you’ve been moved by the ambition and vision of his poems elegizing the Civil Rights martyrs. Or you hold dear a memory of him reaching out to encourage you as a young writer. In all these ways and more, Jake was one of the most exceptional members of our literary community that we’ve ever been lucky enough to know. 

It is in this spirit of community that we reach out to you today to ask you to consider making a donation in Jake’s memory that will help grow and sustain the Jake Adam York Memorial Reading into the far future. Our hope is simple: to continue to honor his name while supporting writers whose works, like his, tackle issues of great social importance.

Donations can be made to the University of Colorado Denver’s English Department Memorial Reading Fund online at: https://www.cufund.org/giving-opportunities/fund-description/?id=17241

Any contribution large or small is welcome. When making your donation, simply put “For the Jake Adam York Memorial Reading” in the comments section. No other action is required and 100% of the donations made to this fund will go to support the Jake Adam York Memorial Reading.

Thank you for your time and consideration.



Brian Barker & Nicky Beer