Poetry. Winner of the Carve Magazine Prose and Poetry Contest for 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.
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