Forthcoming from poet and film director and producer Michele Poulos is A Late Style of Fire (13 Ways Productions), about the California poet Larry Levis (1946-1996)—in the words of Terrance Hayes, "our Whitman for the late twentieth century." A trailer is not yet available.
The feature documentary, which launched a successful Kickstarter campaign earlier in 2015 (watch the director's statement about her project), looks closely at Levis's childhood, his experiences working alongside migrant workers, his marriages, and his friendships with other American writers and poets (he studied under Philip Levine). Featured in the film are, among others, poets Carol Muske-Dukes, Norman Dubie, Colleen McElroy, Carolyn Forche, Kathleen Graber, Philip Levine, Stanley Plumly, Gerald Stern, and Charles Wright.
Levis wrote a book of stories, Black Freckles (Gibbs Smith, 1992), and a number of poetry collections: The Selected Levis: Revised Edition (David St. John, Ed., University of Pittsburgh Press, Pitt Poetry Series, 2003), Winter Stars (University of Pittsburgh Press, Pitt Poetry Series, 1985), Elegy (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1997), The Dollmaker's Ghost (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 1997), which won the 1980 Open Competition of National Poetry Series; The Widening Spell of the Leaves (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1991), The Afterlife (University of Iowa Press, 1977; Carnegie Mellon, 1998), winner of the 1976 Lamont Award, now called the James Laughlin Award (Academy of American Poets); and Wrecking Crew (University of Pittsburgh Press, Pitt Poetry Series, 1972), recipient of United States Award (International Poetry Forum).
Levis's The Darkening Trapeze | Last Poems, will be published by Graywolf Press in January 2016). Edited by David St. John, this posthumous collection is available for pre-order. (See the Graywolf Press page for The Darkening Trapeze.)
Excerpts from the film were screened in November in Los Angeles.
Post-release of the documentary, a DVD will be available.
A Late Style of Fire on FaceBook
* Designed by A for Adventure, Richmond, Virginia, and available for purchase.
"Larry Levis Legacy" on YouTube:
Read Gregory Donovan's piece in the journal Blackbird, "The Anecdote as Antidote: Skipping Rope with Larry Levis", Fall 2014; and Edward Byrne's essay, also in Blackbird, "To Recover the Poet: Larry Levis's Elegy, The Selected Levis, and The Gazer Within", Fall 2004.