Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Motor City Poet

On Philip Levine:

I grew up in Detroit (1927-50) but not in the same city as Mr. Levine. I had to work factories as well after my GI Bill ran out, to finance my Ph.D. in American Lit. But I relished the contact with blue collars: it made me as well a lifelong spokesman for the deprived in Detroit. Levine (born 1928) seems to make a shtick of his factory work.

I wrote no publishable poetry, but wrote essays on the pretentious self delusion that America was a dreamland of upward mobility. It’s a prison with exploding incarceration rates for the black and brown. Levine flaunts his anarchism in Barcelona. He needs to concentrate more on Baltimore.

See my review of his award on the website of the U of the Arts, Philly, where I lived for 50 years (1957-2007) until I moved to Weimar, Germany.

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