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U.S. Poet Laureate and Pulitzer-Prize Winner Phil Levine to Read at Queens College October 19 Through New Salon in Queens


-- Acclaimed Poet, Novelist and Translator Marilyn Chin Will Read at QC on October 11--

FLUSHING, NY, October 3, 2011 – Called “one of America’s great narrative poets” by the librarian of Congress and “a large, ironic Whitman of the industrial heartland” by the New York Times Review of Books, U.S. Poet Laureate Philip Levine will read from his work at Queens College’s Rosenthal Library 230 on October 19 at 6:30 pm. Levine’s reading is part of the successful New Salon in Queens, a partnership between the Poetry Society of America (PSA) – the nation’s oldest poetry organization – and Queens College’s MFA Program in Creative Writing and Literary Translation. 

Levine's work is most famous for its urban perspective and down-to-earth view on the world of the vanished working class and their neighborhoods.  Many of his poems tap into his early memories of when he labored on the assembly line of automobile manufacturing plants in Detroit where he grew up.    

His appointment as the country’s new poet laureate is an honor that caps a long and distinguished career.  With 20 collections of poems to his credit, Levine has won just about every major writing award including a Pulitzer Prize in 1995 for The Simple Truth and a National Book Award in 1991 for What Work Is and in 1980 for Ashes: Poems New and Old.  He taught for over 30 years in the English Department of California State University, Fresno, and was the Distinguished Poet in Residence for the Creative Writing Program at New York University.

Queens College English Professor and MFA Director Nicole Cooley will interview Levine after the reading. A reception and book signing will follow the event, which is free and open to the public.

“We are thrilled to welcome Philip Levine to our campus,” said Professor Cooley.  “His poetry means so much to our students and the community at Queens College.”

“It is an honor and a joy for our collaborative team to celebrate and hear Philip Levine so soon after the announcement that he is to be our next US. Poet Laureate,” said Alice Quinn, PSA executive director and former poetry editor of The New Yorker

Award-winning poet, writer, educator, anthologist and translator Marilyn Chin will read from her work on October 11 at 6:30 pm in the college’s Rosenthal Library, 5th floor, President’s 
Conference Room 2. An informal Q&A, reception and book signing will follow the reading at this free event, also sponsored by QC’s MFA program.

Chin was born in Hong Kong and raised in Portland, Oregon. Her books of poetry have become Asian American classics and are taught in classrooms around the world.  They include Rhapsody in Plain Yellow, The Phoenix Gone, The Terrace Empty and Dwarf Bamboo.  She is also the author of the novel Revenge of the Mooncake Vixen. In addition, she has translated poems by the modern Chinese poet Ai Qing and co-translated work by the Japanese poet Gozo Yoshimasu.

Notable for its “direct and often confrontational attitude” (Poetry Foundation), Chin’s poetry has received numerous awards, including those from the Radcliffe Institute at Harvard,
the Rockefeller Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.  She has also been the recipient of a Stegner Fellowship, the PEN/Josephine Miles Award, four Pushcart Prizes, the Paterson Prize, and several residencies. 

Widely anthologized, Chin’s work was featured on Bill Moyers’ PBS TV series, The Language of Life.  Recently, she was a visiting professor at Beijing Foreign Studies University.  Chin now co-directs the MFA program at the University of San Diego, where she also teaches in the departments of English and Comparative Literature.

Upcoming presentations by the college’s MFA Program in Creative Writing and Literary Translation will include readings by translator and poet Christian Hawkey on October 25 at 6:30 pm in Klapper Hall 710; poet and fiction writer David Mills on October 27 at 6:30 pm in Klapper Hall 304; and poet John Murillo on November 14 at 5 pm in Klapper Hall 333.

The Rosenthal Library auditorium is accessible from the main entrance of the library (on the 3rd floor) down the stairs to the right of the doors to the Louis Armstrong Archives.

The Queens College MFA Program in Creative Writing and Literary Translation, introduced in fall 2007, offers a diverse student body the opportunity to work closely with award-winning faculty members who are also committed teachers. Faculty include novelist John Weir, winner of the Lambda Literary Award; poet and translator Roger Sedarat, winner of the Hollis Summers prize in poetry; playwright Richard Schotter, Obie award nominee and Berman Playwriting Prize winner; poet Kimiko Hahn, winner of the PEN/Voelcker Award in poetry; Nicole Cooley, who directs the MFA program, winner of the Walt Whitman Award in poetry; and poet and novelist Jeff Allen, winner of the Heartland Prize for Fiction.  Susan Bernofsky, award-winning literary translator, fiction writer and scholar is this year’s visiting professor in the program. For more information. visit

The Poetry Society of America was founded in 1910 for the purpose of creating a public forum for the advancement, enjoyment, and understanding of poetry. Through a diverse array of programs, initiatives, contests, and awards, the PSA works to build a larger audience for poetry, to encourage a deeper appreciation of the art, and to place poetry at the crossroads of American life. Learn more at


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