Famous Poets and Poems:  Home  |  Poets  |  Poem of the Month  |  Poet of the Month  |  Top 50 Poems  |  Famous Quotes  |  Famous Love Poems

Back to main page Search for:

FamousPoetsAndPoems.com / Poets / Philip Levine / Biography
Popular Poets
Langston Hughes

Shel Silverstein

Pablo Neruda

Maya Angelou

Edgar Allan Poe

Robert Frost

Emily Dickinson

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

E. E. Cummings

Walt Whitman

William Wordsworth

Allen Ginsberg

Sylvia Plath

Jack Prelutsky

William Butler Yeats

Thomas Hardy

Robert Hayden

Amy Lowell

Oscar Wilde

Theodore Roethke

All Poets  

See also:

Poets by Nationality

African American Poets

Women Poets

Thematic Poems

Thematic Quotes

Contemporary Poets

Nobel Prize Poets

American Poets

English Poets

Philip Levine Biography
Back to Poet Page
Philip Levine
Enlarge Picture
Philip Levine is one of America’s most celebrated and renowned poets, having been honored with a National Book Award and a Pulitzer Prize. He was born in 1928 and raised in Detroit, the son of Russian-Jewish immigrants. He was educated in the public schools of Detroit and also attended Wayne State University. After a succession of industrial jobs, including punching in at Chevy Gear & Axle, running jack hammer at Detroit Transmission, and muscling cases of soda pop at Mavis Nu Icy Bottling Company, Levine left Detroit to teach part-time at the University of Iowa, which enabled him to attend the Iowa Writer’s Workshop. Levine, a writer who knows in his bones the corrosive effects of heat, foul air, long hours, low pay, and heavy work, believes his industrial jobs were an unlikely seedbed for his poetry. "Detroit is perfect for me. It’s not dinky. It’s just big enough. I know it. I’m a Detroit-sized poet," said Levine. "It took me a long time to be able to write about it without snarling or snapping. I had to temper the violence I felt toward those who maimed and cheated me with a tenderness toward those who had touched and blessed me." The poems and connections he forged in Iowa earned him a fellowship at Stanford University, which led, in turn, to a job at Fresno State in 1958, where he taught literature and writing for over thirty years.

Most of Levine’s poetry addresses the joys and sufferings of industrial life, poems marked by keen observation, rage and painful irony. His poetry is about the common people, but it is also for the common people. While his poems are carefully crafted and complex, they read like colloquial speech. Levine splits his time between New York City and Fresno.

Selected Works
On The Edge (1963)
Not this Pig (1968)
They Feed They Lion (1972)
The Names of the Lost (1976)
One for the Rose (1981)
Sweet Will (1985)
A Walk with Tom Jefferson (1988)
New Selected Poems (1991)
What Work Is: Poems (1991)
The Bread of Time: Toward an Autobiography (1994)
The Simple Truth : Poems (1994)
Smoke (1997)
Mercy (1999)
View Philip Levine:  Poems | Quotes | Biography | Books

Home   |   About Project   |   Privacy Policy   |   Copyright Notice   |   Links   |   Link to Us   |   Tell a Friend   |   Contact Us
Copyright © 2006 - 2010 Famous Poets And Poems . com. All Rights Reserved.
The Poems and Quotes on this site are the property of their respective authors. All information has been
reproduced here for educational and informational purposes.