Collection SC067 - Denise Levertov collection

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Denise Levertov collection

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

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  • 1940 - 1967 (Creation)

Physical description area

Physical description

1 cm of textual records

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Name of creator


Biographical history

Denise Levertov (originally Levertoff) was born in Ilford, Essex, England of Russian and Welsh ancestry. She began writing poetry at the age of twelve. Early supporters of her poetry included T.S. Eliot, Herbert Read, Charles Wrey Gardiner, and Kenneth Rexroth. Her first volume of poetry "The Double Image" was published in England in 1946. After marrying American writer Mitchell Goodman in 1947 , she moved to New York and began developing the style that has made her an internationally respected American poet. She became a naturalized American citizen in 1955. The Black Mountain poets, such as Robert Duncan, Charles Olson, and Robert Creeley, were an early influence on her work. Creeley was among the first to publish her poetry in the U.S.A. Later, she became involved with "The Writers and Artists Protest Against the War in Vietnam". Her works include "The Jacob's Ladder" (1961), "Relearning the Alphabet" (1970), and "Footprints" (1972). In addition, she taught at many universities throughout the U.S.A.

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Scope and content

The collection consists of letters and postcards (1940-1951) written by Levertov to Charles Wrey Gardiner (editor of Poetry Quarterly); letters, drafts of poems and a postcard (1946-1947) to John Hayward; and drawings not used for "A Tree Telling of Orpheus", 1967. The letters also mention Dannie Abse, Herbert Read and Kenneth Rexroth.

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Revised by JF, June 25, 2013.

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  • English

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