Read and Hear Poems from Our New Poet Laureate, Philip Levine

Slate's Culture Blog
Aug. 10 2011 2:15 PM

New Poet Laureate Philip Levine: Read and Hear His Poems in Slate

Photograph of Philip Levine by David Shankbone, New York City
Photo of Philip Levine by David Shankbone, New York City

The Library of Congress named 83-year-old Philip Levine as the next Poet Laureate of the United States this morning. Librarian of Congress James Billington, who chose Levine for the position, called the Michigan-born poet “the laureate… of the industrial heartland” and “an extraordinary discovery.” Levine, whose collections  include The Simple Truth and What Work Is, has also won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and the National Book Critics Circle Award.

Slate, too, has long been a fan of Levine, and we have printed many of his poems over the years. You can read a selection of his work, and hear him read a few of his own poems, by clicking the links below:

Our Reds
The Island
Living in Music
The West Wind
One Brother Said to the Other, ‘Let’s Go Into the Fields’

Levine succeeds previous poet laureate W.S. Merwin, a member of the “80 Over 80,” Slate’s annual list of America’s most powerful octogenarians. It remains to be seen whether Levine might overtake Merwin there as well, but in the meantime, you can read many of Merwin’s poems in our archives. To find even more poems (and perhaps spot Levine’s successor), check out Slate’s weekly poetry series.

Forrest Wickman is a Slate staff writer. 


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