Fresno is known for poetry. Perhaps it's because of unique hardships encountered here, but it's also thanks to poets like Pulitzer-Prize winning poet Philip Levine and others like current U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera.
The Fresno State Master of Fine Arts Program in Creative Writing is celebrating another noteworthy poet and alumnus of Fresno State with a screening of the new documentary “A Late Style of Fire: Larry Levis, American Poet."
Larry Levis graduated from Fresno State in 1968. He went on to attend Syracuse University for a masters and to the University of Iowa for a Ph.D. In 1995 he was awarded the University’s Top Dog Outstanding Alumnus Award from the Fresno State Alumni Association. Dr. Lisa Weston, chair of the department of English at Fresno State, says Levin's writing is yet another reason why "Fresno is a place of poetry."
“Showcasing alumni like Larry Levis is a way of showing how much a part of the Valley’s culture we are,” Weston says of the Creative Writing Program. “It tells students here who might be interested in a writing life that we can help them grow, and they can contribute their writing to engaging back with the community as our writers have been doing for so many years.”
The film premiere will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 18, at The Tower Theatre (815 E. Olive Ave.). Tickets cost $10 for general admission. Proceeds from the event will go toward the creation of a new Larry Levis creative writing scholarship. A discussion afterward will also take place with director Michele Poulos and producer Gregory Donovan, as well as Fresno State alumnus and poet David St. John. KVPR Reporter Ezra David Romero spoke with Poulos and Gregory earlier this week for Valley Edition. Take a listen to that interview by clicking play above.
Watch the film trailer here: