Poetry. Environmental Studies. First Place Winner of the New Mexico Women's Press Award and Second Place Winner of the National Women's Press Award. "Donald Levering takes us from ocean bottom to outer space, and from the jungles of Costa Rica to Arctic regions to the Andean heights of Chile, observing all the while the ways in which the earth's surface and its creatures labor to survive. These poems are never didactic, restrained and beautifully rendered as they are; rather, they evoke over and above the vulnerability man has imposed on nature, the vulnerability of man himself as he shares with them the shadow of extinction. Elegaic and observant, these poems illuminate the connections that inform our lives."—Leslie Ullman"Forche, Milosz, Neruda: all our true poets of witness are poets of what we can't not see, poets of the heightened awareness that comes from danger. Levering offers THE WATER LEVELING WITH US in the same spirit and tradition as these poets. It is a book rich with images of the natural world and with sympathy for the people who inhabit it. It is a book modest in its ambition of making us pay attention, but that is the kind of modesty that can change the world."—Benjamin Myers"Donald Levering's new collection, THE WATER LEVELING WITH US (Red Mountain Press), seeks continuity in our warming world. The timeless shifting of tides—'all the liquid drained from seashores here/fills fjords and coves in distant latitudes/the moon's means for formulating perfect/equanimity on earth'—continues in the face of 'avenging seas' and 'villages submerged under cubic / miles of sluggish reservoirs.' He takes a political stance against this backdrop, finding absurdity: 'On the other side of the planet / in that poppy growing land / the president wants us to bomb / a mouse is napping.' It's a place where climate change progresses to the sound of Handel's Water Music, and young boys line up in a school gym to 'donate blood to the giant / who is leaking oil.' Yet beauty persists, in the sound of the words he chooses, the unexpected rhymes, and the promise of silent understanding: 'A springtime revolution like shouting tulips/above the ticker scrolling soccer scores / in the lounge where we are reading lips.'"—Bill Kohlhaase, Santa Fe New Mexican reviewFirst Place Winner of the 2015 New Mexico Press Women Book Award. The judge wrote in part: "This book has such passion and gravitas. I appreciated so much its range of political and ecological topics, and its impressive sense of social conscience. It is truly a book to remember."
Benjamin Myers @ virtual artists collective poetryBill Kohlhaase @ Santa Fe New MexicanKirsten Bosnak @ New LettersVladislav Frederick @ American Microreviews & Interviews
Former NEA Fellow Donald Levering was born in Kansas City and received his MFA from Bowling Green State University. He has worked as a teacher on the Diné reservation, groundskeeper, and human services administrator. Among his recent honors are the 2018 Carve Poetry Contest Winner, the 2017 Tor House Robinson Jeffers Prize, the 2014 Literal Latté Prize. ANY SONG WILL DO (Red Mountain Press, 2019) is his 15th poetry book. His other books include PREVIOUS LIVES (Red Mountain Press, 2018), COLTRANE'S GOD (Red Mountain Press, 2015), THE WATER LEVELING WITH US(Red Mountain Press, 2014), and ALGONQUINS PLANTED SALMON (Red Mountain Press, 2012). Garrison Keillor featured a poem from Levering's last book, PREVIOUS LIVES, in his AWriter's Almanac@ podcast. Levering's poems have appeared in Bloomsbury Review, Columbia, Commonweal, Harpur Palate, Hiram Poetry Review, Hollins Critic, Hunger Mountain, Poet & Critic, Poet Lore, Southern Poetry Review, and Yemassee. He is father to a daughter and son and is married to the artist and poet Jane Shoenfeld. He lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he volunteers as a citizenship tutor.Author City: SANTA FE, NM USA