Congratulations, Philip Levine!

Again, we’re a little behind the news, due to recent mutual personal pixilations. But better late than never. Since one of us was raised and both of us went to school in the Detroit area, we’re excited to learn of Philip Levine‘s appointment as the new United States Poet Laureate. We think Levine’s working-class sensibility and linguistic accessibility will serve the position well, as poetry moves yet again a bit closer to the mainstream.

NPR provides a solid rundown of Levine’s life and work. Professor, poet, and cultural critic Dean Rader couples his own assessment in SFGate with a favorite Levine poem, “You Can Have It.”

We wonder what Levine’s special Laureate project will be.

About poetsguide

A former altar boy and a former U.S. Army interrogator, respectively, John F. Buckley and Martin Ott were born and raised in Michigan, meeting each other at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor before separately migrating to California in the early 1990s to attend graduate schools, their friendship evolving into a writing collaboration – what they refer to as poetic volleyball. They both currently live in Southern California, John with his wife, Martin with his wife and two children. John teaches English composition at several local colleges, while Martin works as a marketing strategist for a global company. John still affects a strange piety; Martin still finds himself asking a lot of questions. Individually and together, their writing has appeared in over 150 periodicals and anthologies, garnering three Pushcart Prize nominations for Martin’s poems “India Ivy” and “When Bridges Fall” (available in his collection Children of Interrogation, which has been a finalist or semi-finalist in eighteen poetry prizes) and John’s “Poem for Christy’s Daughter” (available in his collection Kinks in the Hose). Martin has also optioned three screenplays. His chapbook Misery Loves was published on Red Dancefloor Press. John’s chapbook Breach Birth was published on Propaganda Press.
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