Biography of Dana Levin
Dana Levin (born 1965) is a poet and teaches Creative Writing at the Santa Fe University of Art and Design. She also teaches in the Warren Wilson College MFA Program for Writers.
She earned degrees from Pitzer College and the Creative Writing Program at New York University.
Her first book, In the Surgical Theatre, was published by American Poetry Review (Copper Canyon Press) in 1999; it went on to receive nearly every award available to first books and emerging poets. Copper Canyon brought out her second book, Wedding Day, in 2005 and her third, Sky Burial, in 2011. The Los Angeles Times says of her work, "Dana Levin's poems are extravagant...her mind keeps making unexpected connections and the poems push beyond convention...they surprise us." Her work has appeared in many anthologies and in magazines such as Los Angeles Review of Books,The New York Times,The Kenyon Review, Poetry, The Paris Review and The American Poetry Review.
The New Yorker called Sky Burial “utterly her own and utterly riveting.” Boston Review said, "In Levin’s hands the fragment becomes a tool of regeneration and self-understanding. It’s as if the very idea of the sentence has to be rethought from the beginning." Sky Burial was noted for 2011 year-end honors by The New Yorker, the San Francisco Chronicle, Coldfront, and Library Journal.
Dana Levin Poems
Ars Poetica (Cocoons)
Six monarch butterfly cocoons clinging to the back of your throat— you could feel their gold wings trembling.
Letter To GC
I say most sincerely and desperately, HAPPY NEW YEAR! Having rowed a little farther away from the cliff Which is my kind of religion Adrift in the darkness but readying oars
The Living Teaching
You wanted to be a butcher but they made you be a lawyer.
Ghosts That Need Reminding
Through shattered glass and sheeted furniture, chicken wire and piled dishes, sheared-off doors stacked five to a wall, you're walking like cripples. Toward a dirty window, obstructed by stacks of chairs.
Ars Poetica (Cocoons)
Six monarch butterfly cocoons
clinging to the back of your throat—
you could feel their gold wings trembling.
You were alarmed. You felt infested.
In the downstairs bathroom of the family home,
gagging to spit them out—
and a voice saying Don't, don't—