An excerpt about Philip Levine from alum Anna Clark’s (fiction, ’07) book Michigan Literary Luminaries: From Elmore Leonard to Robert Hayden appears at Belt Magazine:

Philip Levine’s father came to the United States from Russia, traveling across the ocean all by himself at age eleven. He grew up in New York City with two older sisters and their families. His path to Detroit was an extraordinary one: he enlisted in the English army, was stationed in Palestine and conjured a new identity (including a new passport) in Cairo.

Or at least, those are the stories Levine was told as a child. The poet, who died on February 14, 2015 at age 87, was also told that he had Spanish ancestry. That was not true, but it catalyzed Levine’s lifelong fascination with Spanish politics, culture and literature.

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