Saturday, May 17, 2014

Donald Levering Considers What the Wealthy Subtract from Earth's Balance

Donald Levering leads an examined life. He considers all networks among beings, economies, languages, genders. By accident of birth, he grew up in one of the wealthiest countries, although not from wealth. He writes from an informed viewpoint, and his voice is essential. He does not dodge the tough questions.

In Levering's work, we enter the lives of desperate exiles, including war victims. His "War Taxes" begins
"We are herded into the junior high school gym,
ordered to roll up our sleeves
to donate blood to the giant
who is leaking oil...."
Levering understands that all of us suffer together, not separated by geography or circumstance. He can laugh, as he describes the flight of the man who leads whooping cranes along a "lost migration route." The reduced condition of the few dozen remaining whooping cranes, however, is not forgotten. Always, his writing is vivid, unforgettable. I've been reading his work since the 1980s. He keeps getting sharper, more focused. This is a great book with a huge lens. You will see more clearly after reading it. Order his book from Red Mountain Press to provide the most profit for the independent press Red Mountain.

Donald Levering Biography: Born in Kansas City, Donald Warren Levering was educated at Baker University (B. A.), The University of Kansas, Lewis and Clark College, and Bowling Green State University. At Bowling Green, he was a Devine Memorial Fellow in Poetry before receiving a M. F. A. in Creative Writing. He has worked as a groundskeeper in Oregon, teacher in the DinĂ© (Navajo) Nation, and human services administrator in New Mexico. He was the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship Grant in poetry, winner of the Quest for Peace Writing Contest in rhetoric, and an Academy of American Poets Featured Poet in the Online Forum.  In 2012, he was a prizewinner in the Atlanta Review International Poetry Competition and took third place in the Hackney Award, as well as placing as a finalist for the Jane Kenyon Award. A species conservation volunteer and human rights activist, he is the father of a son and daughter and lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico with the artist Jane Shoenfeld.Donald's most recent collections are The Number of Names, Sunstone Press (2012) and Sweeping the Skylight, Finishing Line Press (2012) and Algonquins Planted Salmon, Red Mountain Press (2012). His latest book is The Water Leveling With Us, Red Mountain Press (2014). For more perspectives on his new book, see reviews at these links.
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