Praise Day for Donald Lev! St. Poetry! Sunday, Feb 3, 2019, 2:30-5pm. Bowery Poetry Club, 308 Bowery.
Come to Don’s Praise Day and read poems for or by him and Enid.
Before there were Slams, before Hip Hop, back in the day when the Beats and the New York School of Poets were holding court in an extraordinary mix of high and low art from MOMA to Village coffee houses, there was a Saint of Poetry who kept the Open Mikes open and the scene available to all who would avail – the taxi-driving, Village Voice messengering, prophet of the streets -- Donald Lev. Lev, who died Sept 30, 2018 in in Kingston, had moved to High Falls, near Woodstock, over a decade ago. But he never stopped the poetry juggernaut that was his life – writing the poems, getting his books published, and, with his compadre, Frank Murphy, continuing his life’s work, the zine Home Planet News.
So come on over to the Bowery and celebrate the Unknown Poet whom everybody knew, the poet who created his own word HYN and then read it in the outrageous 60s film satiue Putney Swope (Don reads it to Putney and Fidel Castro). We’ll screen the film and show Mitch Corber’s film of Don as well.
Let’s make this Praise Day a Party for Poetry, as Don would have wished.
"Donald Lev attended Hunter College, worked in the wire rooms of the Daily News and New York Times, and then drove a taxi cab for 20 years (with a 6-year hiatus in which he ran messages for, and contributed poetry to, The Village Voice and operated the Home Planet Bookshop on the Lower East Side). His earliest poems appeared in print in 1958 and he started his first small press magazine, HYN Anthology, in 1969.
Among his honors have been a Madeline Sadin Award from New York Quarterly in 1973 and a Life Time Achievement Award from the Catskill Reading Society/Outloudbooks in 2003. He was Distinguished Visiting Poet for the Northeast Poetry Center in Sugar Loaf, NY in July of 2012. In 2008 Outloudbooks brought out his The Darkness Above: Selected Poems 1968-2002 a sampling from the first four decades of his writing. A chapbook, Only Wings: 20 Poems of Devotion was published in 2010 by Presa Press in Michigan, and a new collection, A Very Funny Fellow, was brought out by NYQ Books in February, 2012. Another book, Where I Sit, was published by Presa Press in 2015, and his latest collection, Focus, was issued in 2017 by NYQ Books." -Robert Milby