Denise Levertov

Like Elise Cowen, Denise began writing poetry at an early age in life. After being published in Poetry Quarterly, at age 17, she began correspondence with people like Kenneth Rexroth, who were inspired by her writing.

Rexroth became her mentor–Denise had moved from London to the U.S. and married writer Mitchell Goodman–and began publishing her prose. Rexroth described her work as “the Schwarmerei and lassitude are gone. Their place has been taken by a kind of animal grace of the word, a pulse like the footfalls of a cat or the wingbeats of a gull. It is the intense aliveness of an alert domestic love–the wedding of form and content.” She went on to become a political poet, with concerns about nuclear arms and the U.S.’s role in El Salvador. Denise died in 1997.

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