Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Philip Levine, the Pulitzer-Prize winner known for his brooding and personal verse about the working class, will be the country's new poet laureate.

The 83-year-old Levine will succeed fellow Pulitzer winner W.S. Merwin this fall. The laureate, who receives $35,000 and is known officially as the Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry, serves from October through May. Richard Wilbur, Joseph Brodsky and Robert Pinsky are among the previous appointees.

"I'm a fairly irreverent person and at first I thought, 'This is not you. You're an old union man,'" Levine told the Associated Press. "But I knew if I didn't do this, I would kick myself. I thought, "This is you. You can speak to a larger public than has been waiting for you in recent years.'"

Receiving pretty much every literary honor, Levine is a Detroit native who has worked in automobile plants and for decades chronicled, celebrated and worried about blue collar life. Levine's awards include the Pulitzer in 1995 for "The Simple Truth" and the National Book Award in 1991 for "What Work Is."

We'd say Bukowski would be proud of him...

For more on Levin, click HERE. Examples of his work can be found HERE.

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