Friday, April 2, 2010

Philip Levine

News of the World by Philip Levine is a slim collection of semi-autobiographical poems dealing with war, blue-collar workers, the gritty side of America and an extremely unflattering portrayal of a librarian ("Library Days", pg. 32). This is Levine's 16th collection of poetry.

Born in 1928, Detroit native Levine has been the poet-in-residence at New York University for the past 14 years, as well as the recepient of the National Book Award for his 1980 collection Ashes and the Pulitzer Prize in 1995 for The Simple Truth. The son of immigrants, Levine grew up doing a variety of industrial jobs, and eventually went to night school while working at an auto plant. He has a real understanding of working-class life and the fleeting nature of the American dream when one is living paycheck-to-paycheck.

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