Denise Levertov

Standard Name: Levertov, Denise
Birth Name: Denise Levertoff
Self-constructed Name: Denise Levertov
Married Name: Denise Goodman
DL , who began as a British poet of multinational origins, moved after her marriage to the USA, where she became a strong force in American literary life, and one of the four leaders of the Black Mountain group of poets. As well as poetry, she published essays, translations, and edited work: twenty-five volumes in all. Though she has received a high level of recognition and public praise for her work, the passionately political element in the poetry of her middle years made her highly controversial.


Connections Sort descending Author name Excerpt
Friends, Associates Susan Miles
During her years at Bloomsbury, UR met the many distinguished literary figures who were either parishioners or readers at fund-raising events, like T. S. Eliot , John Middleton Murry , Edith Sitwell , Wilfrid Meynell
Intertextuality and Influence Penelope Shuttle
PSwrites five mornings per week and, when a fragment hits, always has a notebook to hand. She always leaves first drafts to settle for a few weeks. Influences on her writing, she says, include...
Literary responses Anne Sexton
Like To Bedlam and Part Way Back before it, this was nominated for the National Book Award but did not in the end win. It brought Sexton, however, the award of a travelling scholarship from...
Literary responses Edith Sitwell
Sitwell was subject to dismissive antifeminist comment from such critics as Geoffrey Grigson and Harold Acton .
Hill, Rosemary. “No False Modesty”. London Review of Books, Vol.
, No. 20, pp. 25-6.
The poets of the Movement were famously dismissive of ES . Al Alvarez published a notorious and...
Literary responses Alice Walker
Publishers Weekly judged these poems forthright, spare, antithetical, and eloquent of spirit; Poetry magazine thought them sometimes preachy or theatrical.
White, Evelyn. Alice Walker. A Life. Norton.
Another poet, Denise Levertov , found in them the power of a mind's concentrated passion.
White, Evelyn. Alice Walker. A Life. Norton.
Publishing Jeni Couzyn
In the late 1960s a male friend of JC passed on to her a commission for an anthology of love poems by women. The publisher had delicate lyrics in mind, and was horrified at Couzyn's...
Reception Sylvia Plath
Other recipients of this award include Denise Levertov (1960), Adrienne Rich (1963), Erica Jong (1971), and Margaret Atwood (1974).
Modern Poetry Association,. Poetry.
Reception Gillian Allnutt
GA 's critics have praised the originality and intelligence of her poems. Michael Laskey says they are original poems, scrupulous, unflashy, meditative, pushing at the ineffable, peculiarly inside language, earning their hard-won spiritual insights and...
Reception Ruth Fainlight
RF has drawn appreciative comment from fellow poets and writers like Helen Dunmore , A. S. Byatt , and Elaine Feinstein (who has written that in a time when every poet is wooed by the...
Textual Features Monica Furlong
The different spiritual traditions represented here include ancient Greeks, medieval Christians, Buddhists, Jews, Australian Aboriginals and Native Americans. The authors of prayers include Teresa of Avila , Emily Dickinson , Denise Levertov , Oodgeroo Noonuccal , and Alice Walker .
Blackwell’s Online Bookshop.
Textual Production Elaine Feinstein
EF was editor of the first number of Prospect, a literary magazine published this winter at Cambridge University . She used her editorship (continued until the fifth issue) to introduce an American avant-garde influenced...
Textual Production Monica Furlong
In 2000 MF , together with Andrew J. Weaver , edited Reflections on Forgiveness and Spiritual Growth by a number of more or less well-known Christians. A paperback edition appeared in 2001,
Blackwell’s Online Bookshop.
British Library Catalogue.
which also saw...
Textual Production Jeni Couzyn
Theme or Topic Treated in Text Adrienne Rich
This book collects ten years of forewords, personal statements, and reviews,
Burt, Stephen. “No scene could be worse”. London Review of Books, Vol.
, No. 3, pp. 29-30.
in which Rich continues to tease out the complex negotiations between art and social justice, the ways in which writers have shaped (or...
Theme or Topic Treated in Text Anne Stevenson
Here ASargues that change is time's one permanent condition, that it continually transforms the present into the past at the very moment it opens the future to further change. Quoting from her own The...


Early 1936: The Faber Book of Modern Verse, edited by...

Writing climate item

Early 1936

The Faber Book of Modern Verse, edited by Michael Roberts (who was put forward for this task by T. S. Eliot ), set out to define the modern movement, not just chronologically but according...

December 1951: John Villiers Sankey began producing, on...

Writing climate item

December 1951

John Villiers Sankey began producing, on a hand press housed in his bedroom, a little magazine called The Window, which he also edited.


Levertov, Denise. Candles in Babylon. New Directions, 1982.
Levertov, Denise. Here and Now. City Lights, 1957.
Levertov, Denise. “Levertov’s Speech for a Rally at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, April 15, 1970”. Modern American Poetry: Poets: Denise Levertov.
Levertov, Denise. New and Selected Essays. New Directions, 1992.
Levertov, Denise. Relearning the Alphabet. New Directions, 1970.
Levertov, Denise. The Double Image. Cresset Press, 1946.
Duncan, Robert, and Denise Levertov. The Letters of Robert Duncan and Denise Levertov. Editors Bertholf, Robert J. and Albert Gelpi, Stanford University Press, 2004.
Levertov, Denise. This Great Unknowing. New Directions, 1999.
Levertov, Denise. To Stay Alive. New Directions, 1971.