Julia B. Levine - Ordinary Psalms
Friday, May 20th, 7:00PM
JULIA B. LEVINE is the author of four previous poetry collections, including Small Disasters Seen in Sunlight, winner of the Northern California Book Award for Poetry. She is also a recipient of the Discovery/The Nation Award and the Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry from Nimrod. Her work has been widely published in journals such as Ploughshares, Prairie Schooner, and the Southern Review. She lives and works in Davis, California, where she was recently named Poet Laureate.
She will be reading from her fifth collection of poetry, Ordinary Psalms, published by Louisiana University Press. In it, LSU says, the speaker "asks everyday life to help her learn how to see beyond appearances into fundamental truths.” As she contemplates the loss of one friend to cancer and another to suicide, along with her own impending visual impairment, Levine holds the world “close as I needed / to see.” Imagistic, lyrical, and at times imploring divine intervention from a god she does not know or trust, these poems curse and praise the extraordinary place we live in and are in danger of losing. Lamenting that “this world is a mortal affliction / with wounds in the beautiful,” Ordinary Psalms provides a seductive and lyric rumination on radiance, loss, and grief.