Philip Levine: Past American VoicePoetry
Interviewed by: Rebekah Presson
Catalog Number: 20150403
We remember the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, Philip Levine, who died on February 14, 2015 at the age of 87 at his home in Fresno. The work of the former U.S. Poet Laureate has been described as deceptively simple and pulsing with the sweat and grit of manual labor. Born and raised in Detroit, his poetic development began in 1953 at the University Iowa Writers Workshop under Robert Lowell, then his mentor John Berryman. He was interested in places built upon the backs of muzzled and exploited workers, and sought to bear witness for them. This Past American Voice episode is compiled from two different programs, including a public reading in 1981 and an interview in 1986, and features work now included in his New Selected Poems.
We go to the archives to revisit a program that examines important African-American writers, beginning with the 18th century's Phyllis Wheatley and concluding with former U.S. Poet Laureate Rita Dove. This show also features the late Margaret Walk...
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