Friends, colleagues and former students of the late poet Philip Levine will come together on Saturday, Feb. 20, at Fresno State to pay tribute to the Pulitzer-Prize winning author and former U.S. poet laureate.
Fresno State’s College of Arts and Humanities and Master of Fine Arts Program in Creative Writing will host the event, “Philip Levine: A Celebration,” at 2 p.m. in the Concert Hall (Music building). A reception will follow.
The event will include remarks from a collection of Levine’s poetry-loving friends, colleagues and former students, including: C. G. Hanzlicek, Peter Everwine, Christopher Buckley, Glover Davis, Kathy Fagan, Corrinne Clegg Hales, Lawson Fusao Inada, David Kader, Dixie Salazar, David St. John, Brian Turner, Jon Veinberg, Liza Wieland and M. L. Williams.
Levine passed away Feb. 14, 2015, at age 87. He was one of the leading poetic voices of his generation, “a large, ironic Walt Whitman of the industrial heartland,” according to poet Edward Hirsch. He served as the 18th U.S. poet laureate, and he won the Pulitzer Prize in 1995 for his book, “The Simple Truth.” Levine also won two National Book Awards, two Guggenheim Foundation fellowships and numerous other writing honors.
Levine and fellow poets and professors Hanzlicek and Everwine established the Creative Writing Program at Fresno State. Levine was a professor emeritus of English, teaching at Fresno State from 1958 to 1992. After retirement, he remained connected to the department for the rest of his life, visiting classes, attending and giving readings and teaching mini-courses.
The event is free and open to the public. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. Parking is free in suggested lots P1 and P2. To RSVP, contact Becky Brown at 559.278.1877. For media information, contact Jefferson Beavers at 559.278.1569.