Blackbird an online journal of literature and the arts Spring 2008 Vol. 7 No. 1



Larry Levis was a noted poet whose work appeared in American Poetry Review, The Southern Review, Field, and The New Yorker. Levis won many awards, including the U.S. Award of the International Poetry Forum, a Lamont Prize, and selection for the National Poetry Series. He published five poetry collections during his life, including The Widening Spell of the Leaves (1991), as well as the posthumous Elegy (1997) and The Selected Levis: Poems 1972–1992 (2000), all with the University of Pittsburgh Press. Levis also published a book of short stories, Black Freckles (Peregrine Smith Books, 1992). In 2001, the University of Michigan Press’s Poets on Poetry Series published The Gazer Within, a posthumous collection of Levis’s essays, interviews, and reviews.

A California native, Levis was educated at California State University at Fresno, Syracuse University, and the University of Iowa. In 1989, he was a senior Fulbright Fellow in Yugoslavia. At the time of his death in 1996, he was an English professor at Virginia Commonwealth University. He had previously taught at the University of Missouri, the University of Utah, the University of Iowa, and in the Warren Wilson creative writing program.  

Photo by Jay Paul