Poetry. Donald Levering's PREVIOUS LIVES: NEW AND SELECTED EARLY POEMS cherry-picks poems from this widely-published poet's 40 year career. Arranged to flow thematically rather than chronologically, selections from his first eight books are interspersed with previously uncollected poems in 98 pages. The book showcases Levering's broad stylistic range. Free-verse partners with pantoum, ghazal, and blank verse. Tight, imagist gems nest beside Whitmanesque declamatory odes. The title is at play where the speaker portrays various lives: a snow-plow driver, a highway surveyor, a man who steals subway trains, a prisoner in a Borges story, a stroke-afflicted astrologer, a Navajo healer, a kachina doll salesman. Humorous paeans to Roethke, Bly, and Freud lend levity to a text that witnesses estrangement and war. Ravens, plants, and fungi are also featured in this former groundskeeper's retrospective.
Donald Levering grew up in Kansas City and Oceanside, N.Y. He has published seven full-length and six chapbooks of poetry, including PREVIOUS LIVES (2018), COLTRANE'S GOD (2015), THE WATER LEVELING WITH US (2014), and ALGONQUINS PLANTED SALMON (2012), all from Red Mountain Press. COLTRANE'S GOD was runner-up for the New England Book Festival contest, and his prior book, THE WATER LEVELING WITH US, placed 2nd in the National Federation of Press Women book award. In 2017, Eavan Boland selected him winner of the Tor House Foundation Award. Previous honors include a NEA Fellowship, Willapa Bay artist residency, Literal Latté Prize, and the Quest for Peace Prize in Rhetoric. Levering has volunteered with Earthwatch as a species preservation activist for leatherback turtles in Costa Rica, queen conchs in Belize, and with Enkosini for great white sharks in South Africa. Father of a son and daughter, he is married to the artist and poet Jane Shoenfeld and lives in Santa Fe, NM.Author City: SANTA FE, NM USA