Pleiades' Visiting Writers Series presents poet

Written by Muleskinner Staff

Dana Levin, Guggenheim Fellowship recipient, gives a poetry reading to students Wednesday at the UCM Gallery of Art and Design. (Photo by ANDY LYONS, News Editor)

Story by ANDY LYONS, News Editor—
A Guggenheim Fellowship member treated students and faculty to a poetry reading Wednesday.
The Pleiades’  Visiting Writers Series presented the reading by Dana Levin at the Gallery of Art & Design.
The event was sponsored by Sigma Tau Delta, the English Honors Society.
Levin read 10 poems, most from her recent poetry collection, Sky Burial.
After experiencing the deaths of her parents and her sister four years later, she felt the need to respond to death via her poetry.
“Death wanted my attention, death wants all of our attentions,” she said.
She described researching death and burial practices across multiple cultures before her presentation.
The sky burial is a Tibetan practice in which a corpse is brought to a sacred area and dismembered by a burial butcher.
Then, after a small ceremony, the corpse is fed to vultures.
During her presentation, Levin continually joked and identified with those in attendance.
“She’s been my favorite in the Visiting Writers Series so far,” said Jennifer Brown, an English major.
“Her broad range of experiences and the way she related her stories to the crowd made it a really good presentation.”
Levin is the author of three poetry collections:  In the Surgical Theatre: Poems, Wedding Day, and Sky Burial.
She’s received numerous awards for her work and she currently teaches at Santa Fe University of Art and Design.
She attributes her years of teaching for her presentation style.
“If you’re not empathically connected and feeling the vibe of who you’re presenting to, it could be deadly.  Especially when you’re reading poetry out of a book,” she said.