Dana Greene on Poet Denise Levertov

Watch our October 24 interview at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC with biographer Dana Greene, author of Denise Levertov: A Poet’s Life (University of Illinois Press, 2012). Levertov (1923-1997) was a poet of doubt and faith, Christianity and Judaism, war and peace, protest, lament, nature, spirituality, and more. Her life and poetic development, both religious in their origins, are gracefully captured in Greene’s acclaimed new biography, described as “an authoritative portrait of one of the central figures in American poetry of the last fifty years.” Levertov’s photograph by David Geier is part of the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery exhibition on “Poetic Likeness: Modern American Poets,” curated by David C. Ward. Produced by Lauren Talley. Edited by Fred Yi. Interview by Missy Daniel.


  • Roxanne Ivey

    Thank you for this substantive and inspiring segment, including the link to the Smithsonian exhibit. So much to explore and enjoy!

    Roxanne Ivey
    Poet for Positive Change

  • Richard Bresden

    No doubt Levertov always treasured the lessons of her Jewish roots. But a curious bit of reporting it is that in a piece on Levertov’s religious life does not mention her other influences. Wikipedia; “…her conversion to Christianity in 1984 was the main influence on her religious writing.” Let us drop ” the main” for “a major” and we still have a curious omission. “Sometime shortly after her move to Seattle in 1989, she became a Roman Catholic.” Sounds like an interesting story to me.
    I once had a conversation with a poetry enthusiast who assumed T.S. Eliot’s conversion was the desperate move of an aged, befuddled mind. He was 39 at the time.

  • Patrick Gabriel Lumbroso

    Did you know that her father wrote a beautiful essay on the Gospel of John?


  • P.Gabriel Lumbroso

    Did you know her father wrote a beautiful essay on the Gospel of John called: Love in the Messianic Age?