Readings in Contemporary Poetry

Saturday, May 4, 2002
548 West 22nd Street, NYC, 4:00pm

Philip Levine

Poem: from MY HEAVENS!

Philip Levine was born in 1928 to Russian - Jewish parents who met and married in Detroit. He attended public schools and Wayne University, then the school of the city of Detroit. He then put in some years of industrial and construction work. In 1953 he went to Iowa to study with Robert Lowell and then John Berryman. The following year in Boone, North Carolina, he married Frances Artley, who was then costuming an outdoor drama. Forty-seven years later they have three sons and five grandchildren. He settled in Fresno to teach at the state university where the great students kept him alive: Larry Levis, Sherley Williams, Ernesto Trejo, David St. John, Gary Soto, Lawson Inada, Roberta Spear, and others. His first book, On the Edge, was published in 1963. His later books include: Not This Pig, They Feed They Lion, 1933, The Names of the Lost (Lenore Marshall Award), Ashes (National Book Award), A Walk With Tom Jefferson, What Work Is (National Book Award), The Simple Truth (Pulitzer Prize), and The Mercy. His prose work The Bread of Time: Toward an Autobiography, was published in 1995. He also has published two volumes from the Spanish, Tarumba, The Selected Poems of Jaime Sabines, and Off the Map, Poems of Gloria Fuentes. He teaches in the Fall semesters at New York University, and he divides his time between Brooklyn and Fresno.

Tom Sleigh

Poem: To Water
To Dust

Tom Sleigh is the author of After One, winner of the Houghton Mifflin New Poetry Series prize, Waking, a New York Times Book Review Notable Book, The Chain, nominated for the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize, and The Dreamhouse, a selection of the Academy of American Poet's Poetry Book Club and a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award. His fifth book, Far Side of the Earth, is forthcoming. His translation of Euripides' Herakles was recently published by Oxford University Press. Among his many awards are the 1999 Shelley Award from the Poetry Society of America, and an Individual Writer's Award from the Lila Wallace/Reader's Digest Fund. He has also received grants from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Ingram Merrill Foundation, and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown where he is currently a Writing Committee member. His work has been widely anthologized, most recently in The Norton Introduction to Poetry. He teaches at Dartmouth College and as a visiting professor in the NYU Graduate Creative Writing Program. He lives in Cambridge, MA and New York City.