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Philip Levine’s Books Are Selling Out

By Harriet Staff

Interesting news: it seems that only one day after Philip Levine was named poet laureate, his book sales are through the roof. The New York Times tell us that “his books have quickly sold out in bookstores and online retailers, making it nearly impossible to immediately acquire copies of some collections of his poems.” ‘Tis a great thing for Levine, surely, since the one-year term pays only a $35,000 stipend. The NYT continues:

On the Amazon.com “Movers and Shakers” list, which tracks books that are growing the most quickly in popularity, two by Mr. Levine were at the top of the list: “What Work Is,” a collection of poems that won a National Book Award, and “The Simple Truth,” a collection that won a Pulitzer Prize. Both books are backordered and not available to ship for at least six days. Other books are backordered for at least one to three weeks.

Bookstores, which have also reported a large number of requests for Mr. Levine’s work, tend to not keep large numbers of poetry books in reserve since sales are generally so modest. A spokeswoman for Knopf said the publisher is rushing to print more copies of his books and expects to meet all of the demand within 10 days.

But, as the New York Observer notes, we have a bunch of Levine for free righ’cheer.


Posted in Poetry News on Friday, August 12th, 2011 by Harriet Staff.