Special Collections Department
1961 - 1972
Manuscript Collection Number: 188
Accessioned: Purchase, June 1987
Extent: 78 items (.3 linear ft.)
Content: Letters and poems
Access: The collection is open for research.
Processed: July 1995 by Anita A. Wellner
Special Collections, University of Delaware Library
Newark, Delaware 19717-5267
Table of Contents
American poet and educator Philip Levine, born January 10, 1928, in Detroit, Michigan, was educated at Wayne State University (A.B., 1950) and the University of Iowa (M.F.A., 1957).
Teaching English and poetry, Levine served on the faculties of the University of Iowa (1955-1957), California State University (1958-), Tufts University (1981-), the University of Cincinnati (1976), the National University of Australia (1978), Columbia University (1978, 1981, 1984), New York University (1984, 1991), and Brown University (1985). He has also taught at Squaw Valley Writers Community, Bread Loaf, and Midnight Sun.
Since his first collection of poems, On the Edge, was published by Stone Wall Press in 1961, Philip Levine has written more than twenty books of poetry. Several of his books have received awards, including the National Book Award for Poetry in 1991 for What Work Is (1991). His later publications are The Simple Truth: Poems (1994) and The Bread of Time: Toward an Autobiography (1994).
Born August 2, 1934, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, poet and educator Stephen Berg attended the University of Pennsylvania, Boston University, and the University of Indiana, prior to receiving a B.A. from the State University of Iowa in 1959. Since 1963 Stephen Berg has served on the faculty of Temple University in Philadelphia, as well as the Philadelphia College of Art.
Berg's poems were first published in Berg-Goodman-Mezey by New Ventures Press in 1957. Naked Poetry: Recent American Poetry in Open Forms (1969), Berg's widely acclaimed anthology which he edited with Robert Mezey, includes work by Philip Levine and is discussed in some of the letters in this collection. He has also served as co-editor of the American Poetry Review. New Selected Poems was published by Copper Canyon Press in 1992.
Evory, Ann and Linda Metzger (eds.) Contemporary Authors. New Revision Series, Volume 8. Detroit: Gale Research Co., 1983. p. 58.
Lesniak, James G. (ed.) Contemporary Authors. New Revision Series, Volume 37. Detroit: Gale Research Inc., 1992. pp. 281-284.
This collection of seventy-one letters written by Philip Levine to Stephen Berg spans the approximate dates 1961-1972; most of the letters are undated. The collection also includes seven poems, six written by Levine and one by an unidentified writer (possibly Stephen Berg).
In his letters, Philip Levine discussed a wide spectrum of personal and professional issues. Levine wrote intimately of his family life, vacations, travels in Europe, and their mutual friends. He filled his letters with details of his creative writing process, notice of his successes and failures with publishers regarding his poetry, his observations on the work of other poets (Allen Ginsberg, William Everson, Robert Bly, and Adrienne Rich), and news of his teaching career.
Levine also expressed his appreciation for Berg's poetry and critiqued specific poems written by Berg. Frequently he offered Berg encouragement of his writing and personal life.
Philip Levine updated Berg on his progress with writing the poems that were published in his collections, Not This Pig, Pili's Wall, and They Feed They Lion. He also discussed selections of his own poems for Berg's anthology, Naked Poetry.
In addition to the seven poems found in folder eight, Levine included two of his poems, "A Hand Wrote That" and "Telephone Voices," in the body of two letters found in folder three.
Ms 99 Kenneth Patchen letter to Stephen Berg (F185) (Stephen Berg)
Folder -- Contents
Series I. Philip Levine Letters to Stephen Berg, 1961-1972 F1 1961-1972 6 items, 13pp 1961 Aug 24 TLS 2pp 1967 Apr 26 ALS 2pp 1969 Jul 18 ALS 2pp  Jul 21 ALS 2pp 1969 Aug 4 ALS 2pp 1972 Jan 6 ALS 2pp F2 n.d. 13 items, 15pp n.d. TLS 1p n.y. Oct 3 TLS 1p n.d. TLS 1p TLS 1p TLS 2pp n.y. Nov 22 TLS 1p n.d. TLS 1p TLS 1p ALS 2pp TLS 1p TLS 1p n.y. 25 Feb TLS 1p 10 Feb TLS 1p Series I. Philip Levine Letters to Stephen Berg (cont’d) F3 n.d. 15 items, 22pp n.d. ALS 1p ALS 1p ALS 2pp TLS 2pp Note: with “A Hand Wrote That” TLS 2pp Note: with “Telephone Voices” n.y. Jul 3 TLS 1p n.d. TLS 2pp TLS 2pp n.y. Jul 19 TLS 1p n.d. TLS 1p TLS 1p TLS 1p TLS 1p n.y. Sep 2 ALS 2pp n.d. ALS 2pp F4 n.d. 10 items, 18pp n.y. Feb 21 ALS 2pp Apr 16 ALS 3pp May 31 ALS 3pp n.d. ALS 1p ALS 2pp ALS 1p ALS 1p ALS 1p ALS 1p ALS 3pp Series I. Philip Levine Letters to Stephen Berg (cont’d) F5 n.d. 10 items, 19pp n.d. ALS 3pp n.y. Aug 31 ALS 1p n.d. ALS 1p ALS 2pp ALS 1p ALS 2pp ALS 2pp ALS 2pp ALS 4pp n.y. May 18 ALS 1p F6 n.d. 8 items, 17pp n.y. Jun 12 ALS 1p Aug 21 ALS 2pp n.d. ALS 3pp ALS 2pp n.y. Sep 15 ALS 2pp Apr 24 ALS 2pp Aug 4 ALS 3pp Jan 5 ALS 2pp F7 [n.d.] 9 items, 19pp n.y. Aug 15 ALS 4pp n.d. ALS 3pp n.y. May 19 ALS 1p Feb 10 ALS 2pp Sep 5 ALS 2pp May 19 ALS 2pp Jul 26 ALS 2pp Aug 3 ALS 2pp Aug 12 ALS 1p Series II. Poems written by Philip Levine, n.d. The poem "After the Rain," which bears revisions by Levine, may have been written by Stephen Berg. F8 Poems, n.d. "After the Rain" Ts(x) with autograph notes and revisions by Levine, 1p "After the Storm" TsS(x) with autograph notes, 2pp "The Cartridges" TsS(x) with autograph revisions, 1p "The Everlasting Sunday" TsS(x) with autograph revisions and note on the verso, 1p "The Lost Angel" TsS(x) with autograph note "Obscure" TsS(x) with autograph revisions, 1p "The Second Angel" TsS(x) with autograph revisions, 1p
Last modified: 01/19/11