Flags at California State University, Fresno will fly at half-staff on Thursday, Feb. 26 in honor of Mr. Philip Levine, an emeritus professor of English at Fresno State and former United States poet laureate. Mr. Levine died Feb. 14 at the age of 87. No funeral services have been announced.
Dr. José A. Díaz, interim dean of the College of Arts and Humanities, said that faculty and staff of the College, the Department of English and the Creative Writing Program thank everyone for their outpouring of responses upon Mr. Levine’s death. Díaz asked for continued patience and privacy for the Levine family and close friends.
Díaz said the college would be honored to pay public tribute to Mr. Levine in the future, if the Levine family so chooses. Mr. Levine’s legacy, he said, will continue to touch lives through the works of his students, colleagues and friends. Fresno State in 2012 established the Philip Levine Scholarship benefiting creative writing students.
“Philip Levine’s extraordinary ability to present the poetic in everyday life enriches us, enhances our perception of what poetry is and affords us the ability to perceive poetry where one wouldn’t expect to find it,” Díaz said. “As U.S. poet laureate, Phil’s work affirms the value of the creative arts in our world and reaffirms the importance that his poetry played in shaping the artistic landscape in our Valley. Our community is forever blessed by the time he lived and worked among us.”
Visit the Creative Writing Program’s blog to read a growing list of remembrances to Mr. Levine from around the world. For more information, contact the College of Arts and Humanities at 559.278.8341.