Workshop alumnus Philip Levine named U.S. Poet Laureate

The Library of Congress named University of Iowa Writers' Workshop alumnus and Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Philip Levine--whose work addresses the joys and sufferings of industrial life--the 18th U.S. Poet Laureate on August 10th, 2011.

Levine, who recently participated in the Iowa Writers' Workshop 75th anniversary alumni reunion, will take up his duties as Poet Laureate in the fall, opening the library's annual literary season with a reading of his work at the Coolidge Auditorium in Washington D.C. on Oct. 17. (Read the official announcement at

Levine succeeds W.S. Merwin, and a number of previous Poet Laureates with ties to the workshop as visiting lecturers or students, including Louise Glück, Robert Hass, Rita Dove and Mark Strand.