Copper Nickel Continues to Grow

The Copper Nickel, CU Denver’s prestigious literary journal, comes out in March.


With two issues already under its belt, Copper Nickel, CU Denver’s literary journal, has its 22nd issue due out in March. The national literary journal continues to expand, always focusing in on short fiction, poetry, translations, and essays that astound with quality and inventiveness.

“The ‘something’ that Copper Nickel is looking for, in my experience, is always a fresh narrative—something that is strong and can stand alone,” said Carley Tacker, associate editor and double major in English Literature and English Writing at CU Denver.

As an undergrad, Tacker is privy to a unique experience when it comes to a national literary journal like Copper Nickel. “It’s undergraduates, graduates, everybody, reading for the journal,” Tacker said. “Normally, too, on a traditional literary journal, they only accept graduate students. Copper Nickel is unique in the way we allow everybody to come in and read slush and submissions.”

Opening up the process to interested students, regardless of their status as an undergraduate or graduate, allows Copper Nickel to educate students in ways that don’t necessarily fit the traditional classroom model.

“One of the things that’s great about this university and its relationship to Copper Nickel, at least so far, is that it’s committed to using the journal as a teaching journal,” said Wayne Miller, associate professor and managing editor of Copper Nickel. “With that benefit, it’s high impact learning.”

The experiential side of Copper Nickel offers no shortage of surprises and successes for the students who work there. “One of our poems by Mark Halliday just got accepted into Best American Poetry,” Tacker said. “It’s kind of a huge deal for us. We’re becoming more and more nationally recognized, and it’s a great opportunity, especially for undergraduates, to get their feet wet.”

Student staff at Copper Nickel don’t just read the writers published in the journal. They also get the opportunity to directly learn from them as well. Copper Nickel’s website, which rolls out updates on their writers, gives fresh students the chance to create their own work. “As we continue to grow, students can do more work interviewing our authors and creating their own work in the context of the umbrella of what the journal’s doing,” Miller said.

ven as they stay busy publishing an issue each semester, Copper Nickel still has more projects in the works. “We’re partnered with Milkweed Editions to do a book prize,” Miller said. “If you win our prize, you’re getting a big independent press publisher out of our prize, with all of the clout and publicity and potential marketing power that that brings to the table.”

With all the growth and new endeavors in its future, the journal will rely even more on the students who keep it moving. “Our student involvement has been really robust, which I’ve been grateful for,” Miller said.

And the students themselves are grateful for all that the Nickel offers too. “It’s an incredible opportunity to learn a different facet of your English degree or your business degree or something,” Tacker said. “It’s for everybody.”

Copper Nickel





—Jordan Anthony

photo: courtesy

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *