Phil Levine Tributes

Photo by Frances A. Levine
Photo by Frances A. Levine

Philip Levine, 1928-2015
Philip Levine was one of the leading poetic voices of his generation, “a large, ironic Walt Whitman of the industrial heartland,” according to poet Edward Hirsch. Mr. Levine served as poet laureate of the United States, he won the Pulitzer Prize and two National Book Awards, and he was a Professor Emeritus of English at Fresno State after teaching here from 1958 to 1993. Mr. Levine and fellow poets and professors Peter Everwine and C.G. Hanzlicek all played instrumental roles in establishing the Creative Writing Program at Fresno State.

What follows is a curated list of tributes and obituaries to Mr. Levine, who died Feb. 14, 2015 at the age of 87. If you have suggestions for more to add, please email the MFA Program or leave a comment below. More additions will be made as they come in.

Photo by Craig Kohlruss, The Fresno Bee
Photo by Craig Kohlruss, The Fresno Bee
Obituaries
Official Fresno State obituary and an update on the university’s flag lowering for Mr. Levine
• 1 March 2015 – The Guardian obituary by Michael Carlson
• 19 February 2015 – Pacifica obituary by Tom Herriman
• 17 February 2015 – The Washington Post obituary by Matt Schudel
• 17 February 2015 – Valley Public Radio obituary by Joe Moore
• 17 February 2015 – Fresno State Collegian obituary by Megan Ginise
• 15 February 2015 – The New York Times obituary by Margalit Fox
• 15 February 2015 – The Fresno Bee obituary by Donald Munro
• 15 February 2015 – Los Angeles Times obituary by Steve Chawkins
• 15 February 2015 – NPR obituary by Tom Vitale
• 15 February 2015 – Associated Press obituary by Hillel Italie and Scott Smith

Poems and collections
• February 2015 – Philip Levine archive at the Poetry Foundation
• February 2015 – Remembering Philip Levine: A Collection from the Academy of American Poets
• February 2015 – A Collection of Philip Levine Book Covers by the editors of Tongue: A Journal of Writing and Art
• The poems “The Absent Gardener” and “The Privilege of Power” from Poetry Daily
• The poem “A Sign” from The Paris Review
• The poem “The Future” from The New Yorker
• The poem “The Last Shift” with interview, from the Detroit Free Press
• The poem “Late Moon” from The Hudson Review
• The poem “More Than You Gave” from The New Yorker
• The poem “Our Valley” from the Academy of American Poets
• The poem “Searching for Us” in The Pinch
• The poem “She’s Not Gone” from The Paris Review
• The poem “Something Has Fallen” from The Missouri Review
• The poem “You Can Have It” from the Poetry Foundation

From The Poetry Foundation
Phil and Fran Levine at his 1987 Ruth Lilly Prize ceremony. Photo from The Poetry Foundation.

Tributes and interviews
• May 2015 – Featured Selection: Work Remembrances from the Plume Poetry Journal
• 27 March 2015 – Priceless Days with Philip Levine by James Tyner in The Fresno Bee
• 22 March 2015 – The Great Truth by Matthew Clegg on the Longbarrow blog
• 10 March 2015 – Outtakes from an Interview with Philip Levine by Emilie Stigliani on her personal blog
• 8 March 2015 – In a Small State of Poetry: Remembering Philip Levine by Rick Benjamin in the Providence Journal
• 5 March 2015 – A Fortunate Meeting by Lilliana Toste on the Fresno State Richter Center Ambassadors blog
• 5 March 2015 – Remembering Phil Levine by Paul Mariani in Patheos
• 2 March 2015 – Our Father in the Wind: Remembering Philip Levine by Mari L’Esperance for The Best American Poetry
• February 2015 – Philip Levine: Poet of His Time and Place by Marilyn Hacker for The Academy of American Poets
• 24 February 2015 – Remembering Philip Levine by Kate Daniels in The Conversation
• 23 February 2015 – My Lost Poet: Anger and Tenderness in Philip Levine by Elianna Kan in The Paris Review
• 20 February 2015 – Fresh Air remembers Philip Levine by Terry Gross on WHYY and NPR
• 20 February 2015 – At 87, Philip Levine Jazzed It Up by Sasha Khokha for KQED’s The California Report
• 19 February 2015 – Two Conversations with Philip Levine by Karen Rile on Jstor
• 18 February 2015 – Celebrating hard work, working people, and Phil Levine an editorial by The Fresno Bee
• 17 February 2015 – A Funny, Moving Story from Levine’s Final Lecture as Poet Laureate by Philip Levine in Slate
• 17 February 2015 – What Work Is and Why It Matters: Remembering Philip Levine by Amber Sparks for Real Pants
• 16 February 2015 – My Neighbor, the Poet Laureate by Michael Bourne in The Millions
• 16 February 2015 – Hey Phil by Juan Felipe Herrera in the Los Angeles Review of Books
• 15 February 2015 – Levine, an Outsider Archiving the Forgotten by Dwight Garner in The New York Times
• 15 February 2015 In Memoriam, with “They Feed They Lion” by Dan Piepenbring in The Paris Review
• 15 February 2015 – Philip Levine in The New Yorker, from The New Yorker staff
• 15 February 2015 – Philip Levine: A Remembrance by Donald Munro in The Fresno Bee
• 22 July 2014 – On editing Coming Close: Forty Essays on Philip Levine by Mari L’Esperance on The Blood-Jet Radio podcast
• 22 December 2013 – Poets Out Loud: Philip Levine in The New Yorker poetry podcast
• 2013 – Homage to Mr. Levine by Kathy Fagan in the collection Coming Close: Forty Essays on Philip Levine
• 2013 – The Exemplary Poem and the Exemplary Life by Janine Joseph in the collection First Light: A Festschrift for Philip Levine on His 85th Birthday
• 25 July 2012 – What Philip Levine Won’t Eat by Zócalo Public Square staff
• 5 June 2012 – Feeling Okay About Our Unhealthy Wreck of a Nation by Zócalo Public Square staff
• November 2011 – Philip Levine’s Survival Skills by Sean Woods in Men’s Health
• November 2011 – A Laureate in Letters: Philip Levine in Correspondence, 1994-2011 by Aaron Belz in the Christianity Today Books & Culture magazine
• 10 September 2011 – For the Poet Laureate, the Joy of Tennis is in the Effort by Geoff Macdonald on The New York Times blog
• 14 August 2011 – Valley molds a poet laureate ready to speak truth to power by Stuart Leavenworth in The Sacramento Bee
• 2001 – The Unwritten Biography: Philip Levine and Edward Hirsch in Conversation from The Academy of American Poets
• 23 September 2010 – In Memoriam, Philip Levine by David St. John in the journal Blackbird
• 8 April 1999 – Poetry Pages: An Interview with Philip Levine by Wen Stephenson in The Atlantic
• Summer 1988 – Interview: The Art of Poetry No.39 by Mona Simpson in The Paris Review

Photo from the Library of Congress
Photo from the Library of Congress
Readings and lectures
• 7 November 2014 – 2013 Wallace Stevens Award ceremony from the Academy of American Poets
• 28 February 2014 – Poetry and Jazz: Rogue Festival performance with Benjamin Boone recorded by Joel Pickford
• 4 June 2013 – The poem “They Feed They Lion” at the New York Public Library
• 4 June 2013 – The Federico Garcia Lorca tribute poem “The Coming Back of an Assassinated Poet” at the New York Public Library
• 7 December 2011 – Inaugural reading as U.S. poet laureate from the Library of Congress

Previously published tribute collections
• May 2013 – Coming Close: Forty Essays on Philip Levine from University of Iowa Press
• 2013 – First Light: A Festschrift for Philip Levine on His 85th Birthday from The Press at CSU Fresno

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