Dana Levin

b. 1965
Dana Levin

Poet Dana Levin grew up in California’s Mojave Desert and earned a BA from Pitzer College and an MA from New York University.

Levin’s collections of poetry include In the Surgical Theatre (1999), Wedding Day (2005), and Sky Burial (2011). Selecting Levin’s manuscript for the American Poetry Review/Honickman First Book Prize, Louise Glück praised the work as “sensuous, compassionate, violent, extravagant.” In the Surgical Theatre also won the John C. Zacharis First Book Award from Ploughshares, the Witter Bynner Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the PEN/Osterweil Award.

Levin’s free-verse, image-driven poems grapple with the legacies of both Confessionalism and Language poetry by engaging and questioning the self, while using line breaks, punctuation, and syntax as primarily sound-driven tools. In a 2008 interview with the Kenyon Review, Levin noted, “[F]or 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.”

Levin’s honors include awards and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Rona Jaffe Foundation, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Witter Bynner Foundation and the Library of Congress, the Lannan Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the Whiting Foundation. Her work has been widely anthologized and has won several Pushcart Prizes.

She lives in Santa Fe and teaches at the Santa Fe University of Art and Design and Warren Wilson College.

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Articles By DANA LEVIN

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The Poetry Magazine Podcast
  • Listen "You've Never Seen My Shower"
    Poems by Dana Levin, John Longenbach, Deborah Paredez, and Frederick Seidel; plus A. E. Stallings on the Greek economic crisis.

Poet Categorization

POET’S REGION U.S., Southwestern

LIFE SPAN 1965–

Dana Levin

Biography

Poet Dana Levin grew up in California’s Mojave Desert and earned a BA from Pitzer College and an MA from New York University. Levin’s collections of poetry include In the Surgical Theatre (1999), Wedding Day (2005), and Sky Burial (2011). Selecting Levin’s manuscript for the American Poetry Review/Honickman First Book Prize, Louise Glück praised the work as “sensuous, compassionate, violent, extravagant.” In the Surgical . . .

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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