Poet's Walk

Biographical Information

Terry Allen

Terry Allen (1943 - ) was born in Wichita, Kansas. After receiving his B.F.A. from the Chouinard Art Institute, he taught at Chouinard, the University of California, Berkeley, and was on the faculty of California State University, Fresno. He works in a variety of media, including painting, sculpture, musical and theatrical performances and video. He has also written poetry, radio drama and theater pieces. In addition, he has composed and performed country music, having released critically acclaimed albums. His visual art pieces are in the collections of important museums, including the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, and the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in Los Angeles. Allen was awarded fellowships from the National Endowment of the Arts and the Guggenheim. Allen's only public art piece prior to "Corporate Head," was "Trees" for the Stuart collection at the University of California, San Diego. "Corporate Head" began a series of bronze sculpture, that includes busts as well as a number of public art pieces, including works at the Sony Studios, the Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco, the Vontz Center for Molecular Studies at the University of Cincinnati, Terminal A at the George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston and two pieces for the Laumeier Sculpture Park in St. Louis, Missouri.

Philip Levine

Philip Levine (1928 - ), born and raised in Detroit, received his B.A. and M.A. from Wayne State University, and an M.F.A. from the University of Iowa. He was awarded grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Institute of Arts and Letters and the Guggenheim. He received the National Book Award in 1991 for What Work Is, and won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 1995 for The Simple Truth. While teaching at Fresno State University, Levine helped make it a nationally recognized center for poetry. Among his students was Gary Soto, who collaborated with Joe Fay in creating an installation for the Poets Walk. Having worked as a laborer in the auto industry, Levine's poetry captures the life and burdens of workers.

Text provided courtesy of Michael Several, Los Angeles, October 1999.

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