He is know as the “urban poet” for his gritty, working man poetry. The Library of Congress has just name Philip Levine as the 18th American Poet Laureate. Mr. Levine is a two time winner of the National Book Award; 1980’s “Ashes: Poems Old and New”, and 1991’s “What Work Is”. He is also the recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for “The Simple Truth”,
He is a Detroit native and worked in car factories which is where his working man poetry originates. Eighty-three year old Levine taught English and writing at California State University and currently resides in the state. James Billington, Librarian of Congress defines Levine’s work as, “one of America’s great narrative poets, he championed the art of telling, ‘The Simple Truth’ about working in a Detroit auto factory, as he has and about the hard work we do to make sense of our lives.”
Levine will begin his tenure as Poet Laureate beginning October 17th, when the Library of Congress Literary Season begins.