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
Joostice
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. 

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Talking White

Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth.

Hong Kong’s Protesters Are Ridiculously Polite. That’s What Scares Beijing So Much.

The One Fact About Ebola That Should Calm You: It Spreads Slowly

Operation Backbone

How White Boy Rick, a legendary Detroit cocaine dealer, helped the FBI uncover brazen police corruption.

A Jaw-Dropping Political Ad Aimed at Young Women, Apparently

The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 4:05 PM Today in GOP Outreach to Women: You Broads Like Wedding Dresses, Right?
Music

How Even an Old Hipster Can Age Gracefully

On their new albums, Leonard Cohen, Robert Plant, and Loudon Wainwright III show three ways.

How Tattoo Parlors Became the Barber Shops of Hipster Neighborhoods

This Gargantuan Wind Farm in Wyoming Would Be the Hoover Dam of the 21st Century

Moneybox
Oct. 1 2014 8:34 AM This Gargantuan Wind Farm in Wyoming Would Be the Hoover Dam of the 21st Century To undertake a massively ambitious energy project, you don’t need the government anymore.
  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 1 2014 7:26 PM Talking White Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth.
  Business
Buy a Small Business
Oct. 1 2014 11:48 PM Inking the Deal Why tattoo parlors are a great small-business bet.
  Life
Outward
Oct. 1 2014 6:02 PM Facebook Relaxes Its “Real Name” Policy; Drag Queens Celebrate
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 5:11 PM Celebrity Feminist Identification Has Reached Peak Meaninglessness
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 1 2014 3:24 PM Revelry (and Business) at Mohonk Photos and highlights from Slate’s annual retreat.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 1 2014 9:39 PM Tom Cruise Dies Over and Over Again in This Edge of Tomorrow Supercut
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 1 2014 6:59 PM EU’s Next Digital Commissioner Thinks Keeping Nude Celeb Photos in the Cloud Is “Stupid”
  Health & Science
Science
Oct. 1 2014 4:03 PM Does the Earth Really Have a “Hum”? Yes, but probably not the one you’re thinking.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 1 2014 5:19 PM Bunt-a-Palooza! How bad was the Kansas City Royals’ bunt-all-the-time strategy in the American League wild-card game?