An Evening with Philip Levine, U.S. Poet Laureate | Los Angeles Public Library
Print this page

An Evening with Philip Levine, U.S. Poet Laureate

In conversation with Robert Casper
Thursday, February 23, 2012
Episode Summary
The 18th Poet Laureate reads from his work and discusses life, literature, and his time in the Golden State.

Presented in collaboration with the California Center for the Book and the Center for the Book at the Library of Congress

Participant(s) Bio
Philip Levine is the author of 20 collections of poems, including most recently "News of the World". Levine won the 1995 Pulitzer Prize for "The Simple Truth," the National Book Award for "What Work Is", the National Book Critics Circle for both "Ashes: Poems New and Old," and "7 Years From Somewhere", and was a recipient of the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize for "Names of the Lost." Levine taught for many years at California State University, Fresno, where he is professor emeritus in the English Department. In 1997 Levine was elected as a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and he served as a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets from 2000-2006.
When the Librarian of Congress, James H. Billington, announced the appointment of Philip Levine as the 18th Poet Laureate, he said, "Philip Levine is one of America's great narrative poets," adding "his plainspoken lyricism has, for half a century, championed the art of telling "The Simple Truth"- about working in a Detroit auto factory, as he has, and about the hard work we do to make sense of our lives."
The Poetry and Literature Center at the Library of Congress fosters and enhances the public's appreciation of literature. The center administers the endowed poetry chair (the U.S. Poet Laureate), and coordinates an annual literary season of poetry, fiction and drama readings, performances, lectures and symposia, sponsored by the Library's Gertrude Clarke Whittall Poetry and Literature Fund and the Huntington Fund.

Robert Casper is Head of the Poetry and Literature Center at the Library of Congress. He previously worked as Programs Director for the Poetry Society of America and as Membership Director for the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses, and served as Poetry Committee Chair for the Brooklyn Borough President's Literary Council. Casper is Founder of the literary magazine jubilat and Co-Founder of the jubilat/Jones Reading Series in Amherst, MA, and he lives in Brooklyn, NY and Washington, DC.