A &E

United States Poet Laureate to Visit Saint Leo

Making his only Florida appearance, Phillip Levine, the United States Poet Laureate and a Pulitzer Prize Winner for Poetry, will be coming to Saint Leo University on Monday, April 9, 2012.
Phillip Levine, now age 84, grew up in the industrial city of Detroit and began his working career at age 14, when he went to work at an auto plant. He obtained his bachelor’s degree at Wayne State University and his Master of Fine Arts at the University of Iowa. While at Iowa, Levine studied under Robert Lowell and John Berryman.

Levine published his debut collection of poems, On the Edge (The Stone Wall Press), in 1963, followed by Not This Pig (Wesleyan University Press) in 1968. Since his beginnings, Levine has published many collections of award-winning poetry that include:

News of the World (Alfred A. Knopf, 2010); Breath (2004)
The Mercy (1999)
The Simple Truth (1994), which won him the Pulitzer Prize
What Work Is (1991), which won him the National Book Award
New Selected Poems (1991)
Ashes: Poems New and Old (Atheneum, 1979), which received the National Book Critics Circle Award and the first American Book Award for Poetry
7 Years From Somewhere (1979), which won the National Book Critics Circle Award
The Names of the Lost (1975), which won the 1977 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize from the Academy of American Poets.

Levine’s poetry deals with the major subjects of familial, societal, and the economic concerns of 20th century Detroit. As well as looking at the working class, Levine examines his own Jewish immigrant heritage, both through fictional and real life characters and descriptions. His work questions the notion of American ideals with a deep cynicism, as he delves deeply into the working class situation in America.

Levine, known for bringing the experience of the working class into modern American poetry, will be doing a reading and book signing in the Student Community Center on the University Campus at 7 p.m. The event is open to the public and admission is free.

For more information about the event, please contact Tamra Hunt at (352) 588-8294, or email her at tamra.hunt@saintleo.edu.

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