Jeffrey Levine’s first book, Mortal Everlasting (Pavement Saw Press 2002), won the Transcontinental Poetry Award from Pavement Saw Press. Recently, he received North American Review’s inaugural James Hearst Poetry Prize. His recent work can be found in Ploughshares, Beloit Poetry Journal, Poetry International, Quarterly West, Many Mountains Moving, Notre Dame, New Orleans and Virginia Quarterly Reviews, Barrow Street, Quarter After Eight, and elsewhere. Jeffrey Levine is editor in chief and publisher of the Tupelo Press.
Rumor of Cortez
Publication Date: September 1, 2005
Rumor of Cortez, Levine’s second book of poetry, unfolds the compelling dilemmas of a modern man at odds with the endless possibilities of the rapid-fire world. Here are poems that spin and dip into the myths and contradictions presented by history and the driving forces of want—desire amok in the “stopless” world the poet holds dear and celebrates even through intense sensual and spiritual conflict. These poems touch emotional chords most poets leave unsounded and vibrate with the jazz riffs and rhythms of Levine’s language.
In Levine’s referent universe, story matters. In the prize-winning persona poems, Adam and Eve keep house in Westchester, or in the Mississippi Review prize-winning series Orpheus takes Euridice to Rome, drives a Ferrari and wonders at the f-stops on his fancy camera while she wanders the catacombs alone. Sensual imprints enter through the eyes and ears, filling the places in us that need both poetry and story, music and love.