U.S. Poet Laureate, 2011-2012
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
- Watch Philip Levine’s Inaugural Reading as U.S. Poet Laureate (2011)
- Watch Philip Levine’s Closing Lecture as U.S. Poet Laureate (2012)
Audio Recordings with Philip Levine
- Philip Levine and David Wagoner reading and discussing their poems in the Coolidge Auditorium, March 17, 1975
- Mark Turpin and Philip Levine reading their poems in the Mumford Room, Library of Congress, Nov. 20, 1997