Fresno State to dedicate Philip Levine Reading Room

Poet Philip Levine

~ By Jefferson Beavers, reprinted from

Fresno State will mark the opening of the Philip Levine Reading Room inside its Henry Madden Library with a dedication ceremony at 2 p.m. on Friday, May 5.

The dedication will be co-hosted by the College of Arts and Humanities, the library and Fresno State Provost Lynnette Zelezny. The ceremony is open to the public and the campus community.

The Reading Room is located in the library (second floor, north wing) overlooking the University’s Peace Garden. Open during normal library hours, it will provide a space for students, faculty and members of the community to explore poetry and to read, write and research. It will also serve as a special-use space for Fresno State’s Master of Fine Arts Program in Creative Writing for intimate readings, workshops, interviews and visits from guest authors.

The Levine Reading Room honors the legacy of Levine, the late U.S. poet laureate, Pulitzer Prize-winning author and Fresno State professor emeritus of English who died in February 2015.

Levine’s lifelong commitment to the study of poetry and literature will live on in the space through his extensive personal collection of more than 2,000 books donated to the University by his wife, Fran, and his sons John, Mark and Teddy.

The Levine family’s gift, which was first announced at the “Philip Levine: A Celebration” event in February 2016, will continue to impact future poets, writers and readers. Levine taught at Fresno State from 1958 to 1992.

After retirement, he remained vitally connected to the University’s Creative Writing Program, visiting classes, attending and giving readings and teaching mini-courses.

Free parking will be available in recommended lot P31, with parking code 261703.

For information on physical accommodations for the event, contact Barbara Windmiller at 559.278.7630. For information on how community members can help sustain the Philip Levine Reading Room, contact Moon-ja Yunouye at 559.278.8341. For media information, contact Jefferson Beavers at 559.278.1569.

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The College of Arts and Humanities provides a diverse student population with the communication skills, humanistic values and cultural awareness that form the foundation of scholarship. The college offers intellectual and artistic programs that engage students and faculty and the community in collaboration, dialog and discovery. These programs help preserve, illuminate and nourish the arts and humanities for the campus and for the wider community.

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