Martha Rhodes



    Poems By Dana Levin

     Ars Poetica


     Letter to GC



Dana Levin’s poetry has been variously called “violent,” “prophetic,” “transcendent,” “intimate,” “hypnotic”—and it is all of these things.  As Publisher’s Weekly put it, she “writes a harrowing poetry that at times aspires to the unstable intensity of Sylvia Plath and the millennial resonance of Tony Kushner. Her poems have decisively jagged edges, not only in their jutted left-hand margins, but in the brutal beauty of their sights and sounds.

The author of two collections, Levin is a rising star in the poetry world. In the Surgical Theatre received multiple first book awards, including the 1999 American Poetry Review/ Honickman First Book Prize, the John C. Zacharis First Book Award, the Witter Bynner Prize from The American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the PEN/Osterweil Award. Louise Gluck praised this “book of terrors and marvels,” and Rain Taxi dubbed it “a true stunner, alive and pulsing in the reader’s hand.” Robert Pinsky found the imagery in her second book, Wedding Day, “satisfyingly clear...and excitingly inexplicable." Levin’s third volume, Sky Burial, is due from Copper Canyon Press in the spring of 2011.

A self-proclaimed “struggling realist,” Levin says, “for me, imagination is a transpersonal force. Its products can come unbidden; when asked to be employed it is not tame, but surprises, frustrates, stuns, and confounds.” Her work offers us just that: the gritty details and gleaming truths that so often escape us in our daily lives. “Levin’s gaze is unflinching,” says Ploughshares, “and the reader is implicated and challenged at every turn."

Levin was raised in the California Mojave Desert, and holds a BA from Pitzer College and an MFA from New York University. Among her many honors, she has received the Whiting Writers’ Award, and fellowships from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Library of Congress, the Rona Jaffe Foundation, and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. Her work has won several Pushcart Prizes and is widely anthologized. Levin teaches in the MFA Program at Warren Wilson College and holds the Russo Endowed Chair in Creative Writing at the University of New Mexico.








    Poetry Center Reading:
    Fall 2010