October 2, 2022: Dana Levin
“Sky Burial brings a wealth of rituals and lore from various strains of Buddhism, as well as Mesoamerican and other spiritual traditions…the intensity and seriousness and openness of her investigations make Levin’s use of this material utterly her own, and utterly riveting”— The New Yorker
“Reading a Dana Levin poem is a bit like spelunking into a cave of golden light in which there is a reverse disco ball that turns in synch to the beat of your heart.”— Kenyon Review
Dana Levin’s most recent book of poetry is the remarkable Banana Palace (Copper Canyon Press, 2016). Publishers Weekly praised the book, saying “Levin digs into the relationship between mind and body at a time when technologies offer expansive powers, and physical bodies seem more inefficient and absurd than ever… The world may seem broken, but these poems don’t convey doom—Levin’s clear, grounded language leaves the reader hopeful in the end.” Her first book, In the Surgical Theatre, was chosen by Louise Glück for the 1999 American Poetry Review/Honickman First Book Prize and went on to receive numerous honors, including the 2003 PEN/Osterweil Award.
Copper Canyon Press brought out her second book, Wedding Day, in 2005, and in 2011 Sky Burial, which The New Yorker called “utterly her own and utterly riveting.” Sky Burial was noted for 2011 year-end honors by The New Yorker, the San Francisco Chronicle, Coldfront, and Library Journal.
Levin’s poetry and essays have appeared in many anthologies and magazines, including Best American Poetry 2015, The New York Times, Los Angeles Review of Books, Boston Review, The American Poetry Review, Poetry, and The Paris Review. Her fellowships and awards include those from the National Endowment for the Arts, PEN, the Witter Bynner Foundation and the Library of Congress, as well as the Rona Jaffe, Whiting and Guggenheim Foundations.
A teacher of poetry for over twenty years, Levin has served as the Russo Endowed Chair in Creative Writing at the University of New Mexico (2009–2011), as well as Faculty and Chair of the Creative Writing and Literature Department at College of Santa Fe (1998–2009) and Santa Fe University of Art and Design (2011–2015). She currently serves as Distinguished Writer in Residence at Maryville University in St. Louis.