National Poetry Month
Renowned American poet Philip Levine will read from his new book, Breath, on Saturday, April 9, 7:30pm at Gualala Arts in a special event celebrating National Poetry Month. Co-sponsored by the art center, Friends of Coast Community Library, The Sea Ranch Foundation, and Poets & Writers, Inc., this literary evening is a rare opportunity to welcome a major writer to the Redwood Coast.
Philip Levine is the author of nearly 20 books of poetry and has won most of the major literary awards including the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award (twice), the National Book Critics Circle Award, and many others. Recipient of multiple Guggenheim and National Endowment for the Arts fellowships, a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, and member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Levine is one of the most highly 'decorated' and highly respected poets in the United States.
A longtime professor of literature and creative writing at California State University, Fresno (now retired), Levine was born and grew up in Detroit where he worked in factories before eventually attending the Iowa Writers' Workshop, where he studied with Robert Lowell and John Berryman. He is that rare poet both praised by highbrow critics and appreciated by a broad readership for his vivid portraits of working-class life, tales of his immigrant family, and evocations of music written in crisp, accessible language. Tough-minded sentiment complements the sinewy lyricism of his lines.
Levine's best poems evoke a particular moment in the writer's experience with great sensory exactitude and what Wordsworth called "the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings, recollected in tranquility." The emotional power in his poetry derives from close observation and precise speech combined with a cool yet passionate tone. We see and feel what the people in the poems see and feel.
Levine's visit is the fruit of yearlong negotiation by Point Arena Poet Laureate Fionna Perkins and donations from many Redwood Coast poetry lovers eager to hear his distinctive and distinguished voice. This is a chance to be inspired by a great writer while supporting Gualala Arts' efforts to expand its programs in the literary arts.
Admission is free, with donations accepted to defray costs. For further information, call (707) 884-1138.