So Ask mixes memoir and criticism by Pulitzer Prize winner Philip Levine. He reflects-sometimes poignantly and sometimes hilariously-on his working-class Detroit roots, his poetic apprenticeship with John Berryman, his first encounter with Keats, his mentoring of the late Larry Levis, and other stages of his formation and flourishing as a poet. Levine's compassionate politics color his uncommon view of contemporary poetry, as he recounts the pleasures of teaching poetry to students not born to privilege and wrestles with the racial and ethnic prejudices of some canonical figures in Anglo-American poetry. Throughout the book, Levine's keen wit and insight remind the reader why he is one of America's most respected poets and teachers.
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