He signed, ‘With hope for our poetry’
Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015 — Boy, did I get hit with a big haymaker last week. First I learned of the death of singer Leslie Gore, who recorded the monster 1963 smash “It’s My Party,” and I fondly remembered one of my first favorite songs from my giggly, teenybopper years. But my happy, nostalgic “I’ll cry if I wa-ant to,” moment soured suddenly when I discovered poet Philip Levine had died on Valentine’s Day.
Levine came to Fresno State in the late 1950s and within a decade, largely due to his influence, the English program there garnered national recognition and even rivaled the reputation of creative writing programs at big time schools such as the University of Iowa. His students became known as the Fresno poets.