Larry Levis was a native of California and was educated at California State University at Fresno, Syracuse University, and the University of Iowa. During his life, he published five collections of poems, the most recent of which was The Widening Spell of the Leaves (1991), and a posthumous collection of poems, Elegy (1997), as well as a book of short stories, Black Freckles (1992). In 2000, the University of Pittsburgh Press published The Selected Levis: Poems 1972-1992; and in 2001, the University of Michigan Press's Poets on Poetry Series issued The Gazer Within, edited by Randy Marshall, Andrew Miller, and John Venable. At the time of his death in 1996, Levis was professor of English at Virginia Commonwealth University. He had taught previously at the University of Missouri, the University of Utah, and the University of Iowa, as well as in the Warren Wilson Creative Writing Program. His awards include the U.S. Award of the International Poetry Forum, a Lamont Prize, and selection for the National Poetry Series. Levis received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation and an individual artist's grant from the Virginia Commission for the Arts. In 1989, he was a senior Fulbright fellow in Yugoslavia. His work appeared in American Poetry Review, The Southern Review, Field, and The New Yorker, as well as in other magazines.
Photo by Jay Paul