My Lost Poets: A Life in Poetry

My Lost Poets: A Life in Poetry

by Philip Levine

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Overview

Now in paperback: essays, speeches, and journal entries from one of our most admired and best-loved poets that illuminate how he came to understand himself as a poet, the events and people that he wrote about, and the older poets who influenced him.

In prose both as superbly rendered as his poetry and as down-to-earth and easy as speaking, Levine reveals the things that made him the poet he became. In the title essay, originally the final speech of his poet laureate year, he recounts how as a boy he composed little speeches walking in the night woods near his house and how he later realized these were his first poems. He wittily takes on the poets he studied with in the Iowa Writers' Workshop: John Berryman, who was his great teacher and lifelong friend, and Robert Lowell, who was neither. His deepest influences--jazz, Spain, the working people of Detroit--are reflected in many of the pieces. There are essays on the Spanish poets he admires, on William Carlos Williams, Wordsworth, Keats, and others. A wonderful, moving collection of writings that add to our knowledge and appreciation of Philip Levine--both the man and the poet.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781524711337
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 04/03/2018
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 1,150,527
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

PHILIP LEVINE was born in 1928 in Detroit and graduated from Wayne University (now Wayne State University). After a succession of industrial jobs, he attended the writing workshop at the University of Iowa, where he received an MFA in 1957. He settled in Fresno, California, where he taught at the state university until his retirement, and afterward served as poet-in-residence at New York University for more than a decade. He received many awards for his books of poems, including two National Book Awards--in 1980 for Ashes: Poems Old and New, and in 1991 for What Work Is--and the Pulitzer Prize in 1995 for The Simple Truth. In 2011 he was appointed poet laureate of the United States. He died in 2015.

Hometown:

Fresno, California

Date of Birth:

January 10, 1928

Place of Birth:

Detroit, Michigan

Education:

B.A., Wayne State University; M.F.A., Iowa Writers Workshop, University of Iowa

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