Award Winning Poet comes to campus

By Stacie Armijo, Staff Reporter |Photo courtesy of


The main campus writing group will be showcasing award winning poet Dana Levin for a reading on Thursday, Oct. 24 at 7p.m., in Smith Brasher hall, said English Professor Rebecca Aronson.

This is a free event and all students are welcome to attend this event that the writers group has been doing twice a year with different published speakers, Aronson said.
According to, Dana Levin has published three books on poetry, including In the Surgical Theater, Wedding Day, and Sky Burial.
“It meant tremendous amounts to me to have my first book get published. It is what helped me start my career,” Levin said.
Levin said she currently teaches three classes at the Santa Fe University of Art and Design, and she also teaches a course called Living Writers, which is an entry level class for beginning creative writers and poetry technique, that breaks down poems to their craft element.
“One of the classes that I am teaching is on myth and fairy tales. It is a fun class, we read a lot,” she said.
Levin has received fellowships from the Library of Congress and from the Guggenheim Foundation.
“The one from the Library of Congress was a big deal. I am very sad that my parents were not alive to seYe me get that. They would have really liked that,” she said.
When Levin received the fellowship from the Guggenheim Foundation she took a sabbatical to write her third book, Sky Burial, she said.
According to Levin’s third book is an examination of the human passing that explores “Tibetan Buddhist burial rites and Aztec human sacrifice while constructing a personal mythology of death, lamentation, and rebirth.”
“I am proud of all my books for different reasons but I would have to say that the one I am most proud of is Sky Burial,” she said.
Levin lost both of her parents in 2002 and one of her sisters died in 2006, she said.
During that intense period and the grief that followed she produced “Sky Burial,” she said.
“I wrote through that experience with researching a lot of cross cultural burial practices and ideas about life after death, different religions and forensic anthropology,” Levin said.
Levin said writing Sky Burial was a challenge as well as a great distraction while going through so much grief.
Levin is motivated to bring dark into light she said, and finds her motivation by writing about her life experiences.
“My new poems are in hunger, appetite and the end of the world,” she said.
Levin has also received the National Endowment for the Arts grant, a Whiting Writers award for poetry, Rona Jaffe Writers, and several Pushcart prize, she said.
“What I love the most is when the form of a poem and the feeling inside the poem begin to work together and somehow merge in this strange magical way,” Levin said.
Levin loves to write and has been writing since the second grade. “I have always written and I started to write seriously as an adult around age 25,” she said.
When it comes to writing Levin said that it is like having to breathe air or drink water.
“It’s something that I have to do,” she said.
This event will be her first time speaking at CNM Aronson said.
“I want the readers of the Chronicle to know that poetry is totally awesome and they should read more poetry,” she said.

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