Coming Close: Forty Essays on Philip Levine

Coming Close: Forty Essays on Philip Levine


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This collection of essays pays tribute to Philip Levine as teacher and mentor. Throughout his fifty-year teaching career, the Pulitzer Prize-winning Levine taught scores of younger poets, many of whom went on to become famous in their own right. These forty essays honor and celebrate one of our most vivid and gifted poets.
Whether in Fresno, New York, Boston, Detroit, or any of the other cities where Levine taught, his students benefited from his sharp, humorous honesty in the classroom. In these personal essays, poets spanning a number of generations reveal how their lives and work were forever altered by studying with Levine. The heartfelt tributes illuminate how one dedicated teacher’s intangible gifts can make a vast difference in the life of a developing poet, as well as providing insight into the changing tenor of the poetry workshop in the American university setting.
Here, poets as diverse as Nick Flynn and David St. John, Sharon Olds and Larry Levis, Ada Limon and Mark Levine, Malena Morling and Lawson Fusao Inada are united in their deep regard for Philip Levine. The voices echo and reverberate as each strikes its own honoring tone. 

Contributors: Aaron Belz, Ciaran Berry, Paula Bohince, Shane Book, B. H. Boston, Xochiquetzal Candelaria, Colin Cheney, Michael Clifton, Michael Collier, Nicole Cooley, Kate Daniels, Blas Manuel De Luna, Kathy Fagan, Andrew Feld, Nick Flynn, Edward Hirsch, Sandra Hoben, Ishion Hutchinson, Lawson Fusao Inada, Dorianne Laux, Joseph O. Legaspi, Mark Levine, Larry Levis, Ada Limón, Elline Lipkin, Jane Mead, Dante Micheaux, Malena Mörling, John Murillo, Daniel Nester, Sharon Olds, January Gill O’Neil, Greg Pape, Kathleen Peirce, Sam Pereira, Jeffrey Skinner, Tom Sleigh, David St. John, Brian Turner, Robert Wrigley 

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780985932527
Publisher: Prairie Lights Books
Publication date: 05/28/2013
Pages: 214
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.60(d)

Table of Contents

Preface xiii

Acknowledgments xv

Introduction: Their Invisible Great Good Luck Jane Mead xvii

A Laureate in Letters: Philip Levine in Correspondence, 1994-2011 Aaron Belz 1

Rhymes with Deer Ciaran Berry 5

Philip Levine, Professional Wrestling, and Me Paula Bohince 10

Mine Own Philip Levine Shane Book 13

Changed Utterly B. H. Boston 18

On the Teaching of Philip Levine Xochiquetzal Candelaria 25

It's beautiful whether or not you let it be Colin Cheney 30

They Feed They Lion and Me Michael Clifton 37

A Real Fact Michael Collier 39

Trust the Poet: Reflections on Phil Levine at Three Universities Nicole Cooley 44

Birth in a Poetry Position: On Philip Levine Kate Daniels 47

What We Were Doing Was Work Blas Manuel De Luna 53

Homage to Mr. Levine Kathy Fagan 56

Terrific Andrew Feld 61

A Light Inside Nick Flynn 65

Thirty Years from Somewhere Edward Hirsch 69

Philip Levine: The Proof of My Patience Sandra Hoben 73

An Exquisite Simulacrum Ishion Hutchinson 78

The Surprising Chill Lawson Fusao Inada 83

Philip Levine and My Pursuit of a Life in Poetry Joseph O. Legaspi 85

Philip Levine: A Resonant Presence Mari L'esperance 89

Winter, 1985 Mark Levine 94

Philip Levine Larry Levis 101

Worth Fighting For: An Essay for Philip Levine Ada Limón 108

Phil Levine at Houston: My First Teacher Elline Lipkin 113

The Capricorn's Pedagogy Dante Micheaux 119

The Simple Voice of Philip Levine Tomás Q. Morín 124

High above the Atlantic Malena Mörling 129

A Love Supreme: Notes toward an Appropriate Gratitude John Murillo 133

An Apprentice's Tale Daniel Nester 138

Reading Philip Levine in 1972 Sharon Olds 143

So Enough January Gill O'Neil 146

Finding Levine Greg Pape 149

On the Meeting of García Lorca Kathleen Peirce 154

Jabs, Uppercuts, and Kindness: The Humanity of Philip Levine Sam Pereira 156

Permission to Be: Philip Levine at Columbia, 1978 Jeffrey Skinner 160

To See What It Was Worth Tom Sleigh 165

Philip Levine and the Hands of Time David St. John 168

The Poems We Carry Brian Turner 173

A Walk with Philip Levine Robert Wrigley 178

Contributors 183

Permissions 193

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