More on New US Poet Laureate Philip Levine


Hometown reporting on Philip Levine’s appointment as US Poet Laureate from the Fresno Bee in California.

Levine was born in Detroit and started teaching at Fresno State in 1958. The  university didn’t even have a creative writing program at the time.

His close friend and fellow poet Peter Everwine, who taught with Levine for  many years, said the poet laureate designation is a significant honor for Levine  that caps a long and distinguished career. And it means more bragging rights for  the university.

But there is something deeper to consider: the timing.

“The country seems to be so occupied with who we are, what we are, what kind  of country we are,” Everwine said. “We have a dysfunctional government, an  economy falling apart, two wars, terrible unemployment. Everyone is sort of  saying, ‘Who are we as a people?’ I think Phil’s poetry is directly related to  those kinds of things.”