The Last Shift by Philip Levine
Poems

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His stark working-class realities together with his “fabled birds” now populate our imaginations, just as they populated his. This stunning final collection is one more reminder that Philip Levine is irreplaceable.
-NY Journal of Books

Synopsis

The final collection of new poems from one of our finest and most beloved poets.

The poems in this wonderful collection touch all of the events and places that meant the most to Philip Levine. There are lyrical poems about his family and childhood, the magic of nighttime and the power of dreaming; tough poems about the heavy shift work at Detroit's auto plants, the Nazis, and bosses of all kinds; telling poems about his heroes--jazz players, artists, and working people of every description, even children. Other poems celebrate places and things he loved: the gifts of winter, dawn, a wall in Naples, an English hilltop, Andalusia. And he makes peace with Detroit: "Slow learner that I am, it took me one night/to discover that rain in New York City/is just like rain in Detroit. It gets you wet." It is a peace that comes to full fruition in a moving goodbye to his home town in the final poem in the collection, "The Last Shift."
 

About Philip Levine

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Philip Levine was born in 1928 in Detroit, where he was formally educated in the public schools and at Wayne University (now Wayne State University). After a succession of industrial jobs, he left the country before settling in Fresno, California, where he taught at the university there until his retirement. He has received many awards for his books of poems, most recently the National Book Award in 1991 for What Work Is, and the Pulitzer Prize in 1995 for The Simple Truth.
 
Published November 8, 2016 by Knopf. 97 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction
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NY Journal of Books

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Reviewed by Laverne Frith on Nov 07 2016

His stark working-class realities together with his “fabled birds” now populate our imaginations, just as they populated his. This stunning final collection is one more reminder that Philip Levine is irreplaceable.

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