Program News

Philip Levine, U.S. Poet Laureate for 2011-2012

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Library of Congress announced today that Workshop alumnus Philip Levine (M.A., 1957) will serve as the U.S. Poet Laureate for 2011-2012.

Levine will take up his duties in the fall, opening the Library’s annual literary season with a reading of his work at the Coolidge Auditorium on Monday, Oct. 17.

Philip Levine succeeds W.S. Merwin as Poet Laureate and joins a long line of distinguished poets who have served in the position, including Kay Ryan, Charles Simic, Donald Hall, Ted Kooser, Louise Glück, Billy Collins, Stanley Kunitz, Robert Pinsky, Robert Hass, Rita Dove and Richard Wilbur.

Levine is the author of 20 collections of poems, including most recently "News of the World" (2009), which The New York Times SundSay Book Review describes as "characteristically wise." Levine won the 1995 Pulitzer Prize for "The Simple Truth," the National Book Award in 1991 for "What Work Is" and in 1980 for "Ashes: Poems New and Old," the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1979 for both "Ashes: Poems New and Old" and "7 Years From Somewhere," and the 1975 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize for "Names of the Lost."

Levine visited this summer as a featured speaker at the Iowa Writers' Workshop 75th Anniversary Reunion.

For more information:
Announcement from the Library of Congress
Philip Levine's biography at the Library of Congress website
"Voice of the Working Man to Be Poet Laureate," The New York Times, 8/9/2011
"Philip Levine Named America's New Poet Laureate," National Public Radio, 8/10/2011