Monday, July 30, 2018

Curation #98 from my Kerouac bookshelf: Denise Levertov by Linda W. Wagner (Twayne's U.S. Authors Series #113)

Item #98 in my Kerouac bookshelf curation project is this hardcover 1967 Twayne Publishers, Inc. copy of Denise Levertov by Linda W. Wagner (Twayne's U.S. Authors Series #113). 159 pages, it measures about 5-1/2" x 8" and is in very good condition. The provenance is that I bought it from Augusta, Maine's Lithgow Public Library at a "dollar-a-bag" book sale a couple of years ago.

This is one of those books that I bought with the intention to read it "some day." That day hasn't arrived yet, but it's on my bucket list to learn more about Denise Levertov. Levertov was born in England in 1923 (the year after Jack Kerouac) and moved to America in 1948 a year after she married American writer Mitchell Goodman (compiler of The Movement Toward a New America, which I highly recommend). Levertov was an accomplished poet, publishing over twenty volumes of poetry and appearing frequently in well-known poetry journals of her time. She was mentioned in Kerouac's Desolation Angels as Alice Nabokov.

Levertov was a contemporary of the Beats but was more associated with the Black Mountain poets, although she disclaimed membership in any particular poetic school. Click here to read a bio and some of her poems. She became an outspoken advocate for social justice and her later poetry showed socio-political themes (e.g., anti-Vietnam War).

I don't know if this belongs on your Kerouac bookshelf, but it's on mine. One caution: this book is mostly an analysis of her poetry and not a biography.

Below is a picture of Shelf #3 of my Kerouac bookshelf showing the placement of this book (18th from the left) on the day I started curating my collection. Next up: William Carlos Williams by Thomas R. Whitaker (Twayne's U.S. Authors Series #143).

Shelf #3 of my Kerouac bookshelf

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