Poet Laureate

Remembering the 1967 Detroit Riot, part 5: “All that was hidden burning on the oil-stained earth”

by Brian Matzke July 23, 2017

“All that was hidden burning on the oil-stained earth”: Detroit since the riot Don’t Ask Philip Levine So Ask Essays, Conversations, and Interviews Philip Levine The Bread of Time Toward an Autobiography Philip Levine Detroit Is No Dry Bones The Eternal City of the Industrial Age Camilo José Vergara The Unreal Estate Guide to Detroit Andrew Herscher The legacy of the riots can be felt in the poetry of the U.S. Poet Laureate and Pulitzer Prize winner Philip Levine, whose “They Feed They Lion” was inspired by his visit to his hometown of Detroit after the riots, and his feelings […]

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Interview with William Cheng, winner of the 2016 AMS Philip Brett Award

by Sam Killian November 11, 2016

We at University of Michigan Press are pleased to share that William Cheng’s new book, Just Vibrations: The Purpose of Sounding Good, received this year’s Philip Brett Award from the American Musicological Society. Philip Brett (1937–2002) was a beloved professor and a pioneer of queer music scholarship. The book, an urgent treatise on the ethical stakes of contemporary musical scholarship and citizenship, was celebrated during the AMS annual meeting. During this meeting (which happened to take place this year in Cheng’s hometown of Vancouver, British Columbia), the Society praised Just Vibrations, calling it “a nuanced and intersectional work that meets concerns […]

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Publishing, Poetry, and the Future: Reflecting on the 2015 Bear River Writers’ Conference

by Allison Peters July 27, 2015

The weekend May sprung into June, I attended the 2015 Bear River Writers’ Conference at Camp Michigania up on Walloon Lake (where Ernest Hemingway used to spend his summers as a kid), 250 miles north of Ann Arbor, a little south of Petoskey. Sponsored by the University of Michigan Department of English, Bear River is rich with writing workshops, readings, panels (often related to publishing), and craft talks. Directed by University of Michigan faculty member and poet Keith Taylor, the annual conference—now in its fifteenth year—is regularly attended by some of the University’s most prestigious creative writing faculty as well […]

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Philip Levine, 1928-2015

by Phillip Witteveen February 20, 2015

Philip Levine passed away over the weekend, on Saturday the 14th. His poetry was recognized with two National Book Awards, a Pulitzer, and with an appointment as a U.S. poet laureate. Levine was one of the first (and most prominent) poets to really put his hometown, Detroit, into verse. He found a plainspoken language to mourn with, to give pause, to join rafters in his native mise en scène—a language to tell stories of people just getting off the graveyard shift. He started writing poetry when he was only thirteen. In Levine’s work, there was always a way of recognizing aspects of the everyday as poetry; in […]

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Charles Wright named Poet Laureate

by Shaun Manning June 12, 2014

Charles Wright, author of nearly two dozen books of poetry as well as two volumes in the University of Michigan Press’s Poets on Poetry series, has been named America’s Poet Laureate by the Library of Congress, as reported by the New York Times. Wright’s books of criticism with the Press include Quarter Notes: Improvisation and Interviews and Halflife: Improvisations and Interviews, 1977-87. “I’m very honored and flattered to be picked, but also somewhat confused,” Wright told the Times. “I really don’t know what I’m supposed to do. But as soon as I find out, I’ll do it.” Two years ago, the Poet […]

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