blackbirdonline journalSpring 2016  Vol. 15 No. 1
an online journal of literature and the arts

A Late Style of Fire: Larry Levis, American Poet
October 2016 Trailer

The always extraordinary writing career and sometimes troubled life of Larry Levis came to an abrupt halt when he died unexpectedly at age 49. The feature-length documentary film, A Late Style of Fire: Larry Levis, American Poet, directed by poet, screenwriter, and filmmaker Michele Poulos, is a revealing chronicle of dedicated creative achievement as well as a sometimes cautionary tale. The film faces the question: “What is required of those who make a serious commitment to a life in art?” The answer for some, as it was for Levis, is: everything. Featuring an original score by Iron and Wine and film excerpts from award-winning Spanish filmmaker Lois Patiño, the documentary gathers testimony from a wide range of Levis’s informed and thoughtful contemporaries—fellow poets, ex-wives, coworkers, friends, and family—to create a comprehensive context of understanding for the film’s most stirring highlight: Levis’s own words. Featured poets include U.S. Poet Laureates Philip Levine and Charles Wright, along with David St. John, Norman Dubie, Colleen McElroy, Carolyn Forché, Carol Muske-Dukes, Gerald Stern, Stanley Plumly, David Wojahn, and Kathleen Graber, as well as Blackbird editors Mary Flinn and Gregory Donovan (who produced the film with Poulos), and more.

A Late Style of Fire had its world premiere at the Mill Valley Film Festival in the San Francisco Bay Area on October 15, 2016, and its Virginia premiere on November 5 at the Virginia Film Festival. The film is currently under consideration for selection by a number of additional film festivals, and screenings are scheduled for Fresno, California, and other sites important in Levis’s life. In addition, the film is now being booked for future screenings at a number of universities and poetry festivals across the country.  

   Levis Remembered