Top of page

Program Poetry & Literature

« Back to Consultants and Poets Laureate page

Biographies Philip Levine

U.S. Poet Laureate, 2011-2012

Philip Levine, U.S. Poet Laureate, 2011-2012. Photo credit: Geoffrey Berliner.

Philip Levine was born in Detroit, Michigan, in 1928, and served as the 18th U.S. Poet Laureate from 2011-2012. He published more than 20 volumes of poetry, including What Work Is (1991), winner of the National Book Award, and The Simple Truth (1994), winner of the Pulitzer Prize. His other awards and honors included the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, the Frank O’Hara Prize, the Harriet Monroe Poetry Award, an award of merit from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Elmer Holmes Bobst Award from New York University, and the Golden Rose from the New England Poetry Society. He was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1997, elected as a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets in 2000, and elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2002. He received three fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts—for which he served as the chairman of the literature board in 1984—and two Guggenheim Foundation fellowships. Levine taught literature and creative writing at California State University, Fresno from 1958-1992. In his later years, Levine divided his time between Fresno, California, and Brooklyn, New York, before his death in early 2015.

Webcasts with Philip Levine

Audio Recordings with Philip Levine

Selected Works at the Library of Congress