The Bread of Time

Toward an Autobiography
Philip Levine
An extraordinary memoir from one of our most celebrated poets


The Bread of Time is an amalgam of celebration and quest. In this memoir, Philip Levine celebrates the poets who were his teachers—particularly John Berryman and Yvor Winters, writers whose lives and work, he believes, have been misunderstood and misinterpreted. In the process of writing this account of his childhood and young manhood in Detroit and of his middle and later years in California and Spain, Levine came to realize that he was also engaged in a quest, striving to discover "how I am." The resulting work provides a double-edged revelation of the way writers grow. Witty and elegantly rendered in a prose that is as characteristically Levine's as his verse, this is superb—and essential—reading for anyone interested in contemporary poetry and poets.

Philip Levine has received many awards for his books of poems, most recently the National Book Award for What Work Is in 1991 and the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry for The Simple Truth in 1995. Levine recently retired from the University of California, Fresno.

Praise / Awards

  • "With artful, witty, illuminating prose, Levine recounts his youth in Detroit and his adulthood in California and Spain, and celebrates his mentors John Berryman and Yvor Winters."
    Ploughshares, Spring 2002

Product Details

  • 5-1/4 x 8-1/2.
  • 304pp.
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Sales Restrictions

Our edition is available in Canada, United States


  • Paper
  • 2001
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-08625-2

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  • $24.95 U.S.