Philip Levine Appointed U.S. Poet Laureate

Posted on August 10, 2011

Philip LevinePhilip Levine has been named the U.S. Poet Laureate for 2011-2012. He succeeds W.S. Merwin. Levine will begin his duties at Poet Laureate with a reading of his work at the Coolidge Auditorium on Monday, Oct. 17.

Librarian of Congress James H. Billington says, "Philip Levine is one of America's great narrative poets. His plainspoken lyricism has, for half a century, championed the art of telling 'The Simple Truth' - about working in a Detroit auto factory, as he has, and about the hard work we do to make sense of our lives."

Levine has won multiple awards, including the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, the Harriet Monroe Memorial Prize and the Frank O'Hara Prize. He is the author of 20 collections of poems, including most recently News of the World (2009), which The New York Times Sunday Book Review describes as "characteristically wise." He won the 1995 Pulitzer Prize for The Simple Truth and the National Book Award in 1991 for What Work Is. He has also written several nonfiction books.

You can read Levine's complete bibliography here on the Poetry Foundation's website. You can listen to some of his poetry (read by Garrison Keillor) here on The Writer's Almanac.

Photo: Frances Levine