U.S. Poet Laureate Headlines Burlington Book Fest | News | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Seven Days needs your financial support!

U.S. Poet Laureate Headlines Burlington Book Fest 

Talk about good timing. Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Philip Levine is a headliner at the Burlington Book Festival's Grace Paley Poetry Series next month. Today, Levine was named the Poet Laureate of the United States.

"He's a legend and we're very lucky to have him as a highlight of this year's stellar lineup," said festival director Rick Kisonak (also a Seven Days film critic) in a press release today.

If you think poetry is only for effete wimps, think again. Levine, 83, is a Detroit native who once was an auto worker. His blue-collar background informs his plainspoken, narrative approach to writing. Levine, who has lived in Fresno and taught at the University of California in that city for 34 years, champions hard work and everyday life. A collection of his poems titled The Simple Truth earned Levine a Pulitzer in 1995, which joined a crowded shelf full of other poetry prizes.

When first offered the laureate post, Levine told the AP, he had his doubts, calling himself "a fairly irreverent person" and "an old union man." But in the end, what poet in his right mind would turn down such an honor? "I would kick myself," Levine continued. "I thought, 'This is you. You can speak to a larger public than has been waiting for you in recent years.'"

"I have a feeling there'll be a large crowd waiting for him at this year's festival," surmised Kisonak.

The 2011 Burlington Book Festival is September 23-25 in various downtown locations. The Grace Paley Poetry Series will be in the Main Street Landing Performing Arts Center.

One or more images has been removed from this article. For further information, contact web@sevendaysvt.com.
Got something to say? Send a letter to the editor and we'll publish your feedback in print!

Tags: ,

About The Author

Pamela Polston

Pamela Polston

Pamela Polston is a cofounder and the Art Editor of Seven Days. In 2015, she was inducted into the New England Newspaper Hall of Fame.


Comments are closed.

Since 2014, Seven Days has allowed readers to comment on all stories posted on our website. While we’ve appreciated the suggestions and insights, the time has come to shut them down — at least temporarily.

While we champion free speech, facts are a matter of life and death during the coronavirus pandemic, and right now Seven Days is prioritizing the production of responsible journalism over moderating online debates between readers.

To criticize, correct or praise our reporting, please send us a letter to the editor. Or send us a tip. We’ll check it out and report the results.

Online comments may return when we have better tech tools for managing them. Thanks for reading.

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative

All content © 2022 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So. Champlain St. Ste. 5, Burlington, VT 05401

Advertising Policy  |  Privacy Policy  |  Contact Us  |  About Us  |  Help
Website powered by Foundation