A Celebration of the Life and Work of Philip Levine

Thursday, September 24, 2015, 7 - 9:30pm

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A free, public tribute to the life and work of American poet Philip Levine (1928-2015) will feature a variety of poets and writers reciting his works, including Kate Daniels, Toi Derricotte, Juan Felipe Herrera, Edward Hirsch, Yusef Komunyakaa, Dorianne Laux, Mari L'Esperance, Paul Mariani, Jane Mead, Tomás Q. Morín, Sharon Olds, Tom Sleigh, David St. John, and Gerald Stern.

Philip Levine was born in 1928 in Detroit where he attended public schools and eventually Wayne University (now Wayne State University). After a succession of industrial jobs, he left the city for good and lived in various parts of the country before settling in Fresno, California, where he taught at the state university until his retirement. He also served as poet in residence at New York University. He has received many awards for his books of poems, including the National Book Award in 1991 for What Work Is and the Pulitzer Prize in 1995 for The Simple Truth. In 2011 he was appointed Poet Laureate of the United States.

The celebration is co-sponsored by The Cooper Union, the Poetry Society of America, the Academy of American Poets, the Cave Canem Foundation, the Library of Congress, the NYU Creative Writing Program, Poets House, and the Unterberg Poetry Center of the 92nd Street Y.

Admission is free and open to all. Please RSVP here.

Located in The Great Hall, in the Foundation Building, 7 East 7th Street, between Third and Fourth Avenues

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.