A Poet's Revolution: The Life of Denise Levertov

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University of California Press, Apr 17, 2013 - Biography & Autobiography - 515 pages
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This first full-length biography of Anglo- American poet and activist Denise Levertov (1923-1997) brings to life one of the major voices of the second half of the twentieth century, when American poetry was a powerful influence worldwide. Drawing on exhaustive archival research and interviews with 75 friends of Levertov, as well as on Levertov’s entire opus, Donna Krolik Hollenberg’s authoritative biography captures the full complexity of Levertov as both woman and artist, and the dynamic world she inhabited. She charts Levertov’s early life in England as the daughter of a Russian Hasidic father and a Welsh mother, her experience as a nurse in London during WWII, her marriage to an American after the war, and her move to New York City where she became a major figure in the American poetry scene. The author chronicles Levertov’s role as a passionate social activist in volatile times and her importance as a teacher of writing. Finally, Hollenberg shows how the spiritual dimension of Levertov’s poetry deepened toward the end of her life, so that her final volumes link lyric perception with political and religious commitment.
 

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Contents

Beginnings 19231933
9
Levertovs Response to Nazi
35
Apprenticeship during World War II
48
Abortion Adventure and Marriage 19471948
81
Coming of Age as a Poet in
115
Levertovs Engagement with Tradition
145
Taking a Postion 19601963
166
Levertovs Emergence as a Social Poet
198
The Revolution Hits Home 19701974
265
Beginning Again 19751981
295
Social Protest and Liberation Theology 19821988
325
The Recognition of Identity 19891992
369
Facing Death 19921997
407
Notes
445
Bibliography
483
Copyright

Living in the Movement 19661970
223

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About the author (2013)

Donna Hollenberg is a Professor of English at the University of Connecticut, Storrs. She is the author of H.D.: The Poetics of Childbirth and Creativity and the editor of Between History and Poetry: The Letters of H.D. and Norman Holmes Pearson and HD and Poets After.

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