Mega Dose

Recently Viewed clear list

Original Essays | September 17, 2014

Merritt Tierce: IMG Has My Husband Read It?

My first novel, Love Me Back, was published on September 16. Writing the book took seven years, and along the way three chapters were published in... Continue »

Qualifying orders ship free.
New Trade Paper
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
Available for In-store Pickup
in 7 to 12 days
Qty Store Section
25 Remote Warehouse Poetry- A to Z
25 Remote Warehouse Poetry- A to Z

This title in other editions

What Work Is


What Work Is Cover



National Book Award Winner 1991

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Winner of the National Book Award in 1991


“This collection amounts to a hymn of praise for all the workers of America. These proletarian heroes, with names like Lonnie, Loo, Sweet Pea, and Packy, work the furnaces, forges, slag heaps, assembly lines, and loading docks at places with unglamorous names like Brass Craft or Feinberg and Breslin’s First-Rate Plumbing and Plating. Only Studs Terkel’s Working approaches the pathos and beauty of this book. But Levine’s characters are also significant for their inner lives, not merely their jobs. They are unusually artistic, living ‘at the borders of dreams.’ One reads The Tempest ‘slowly to himself’; another ponders a diagonal chalk line drawn by his teacher to suggest a triangle, the roof of a barn, or the mysterious separation of ‘the dark from the dark.’ What Work Is ranks as a major work by a major poet . . . very accessible and utterly American in tone and language.”

—Daniel L. Guillory, Library Journal


"What Work Is ranks as a major work by a major poet. It is very accessible and utterly American in tone and language." Library Journal

About the Author

Philip Levine was born in 1928 in Detroit and was formally educated there, in the public schools and at Wayne University (now Wayne State University). After a succession of industrial jobs, he left the city for good and lived in various parts of the country before settling in Fresno, California, where he taught at the state university until his retirement. For twelve autumns he served as poet in residence at New York University. He has received many awards for his books of poems, including the National Book Award in 1991 for What Work Is and the Pulitzer Prize in 1995 for The Simple Truth. In 2011 he was appointed Poet Laureate of the United States. He divides his time between Fresno, California, and Brooklyn, New York.

Product Details

Levine, Philip
Knopf Publishing Group
Levine, Philip
American - General
Government and political science
20th century
Poetry, modern
Poetry, Modern -- 20th century.
Single Author / American
Poetry-A to Z
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
9 x 5.8 x 0.3 in 0.35 lb

Other books you might like

  1. The Book of Nightmares New Trade Paper $15.95
  2. American Poets Continuum Series #38:... Used Trade Paper $7.00
  3. My Alexandria Used Trade Paper $7.95
  4. The Complete Poems, 1927-1979 Used Trade Paper $11.50
  5. Above the River: The Complete Poems New Trade Paper $21.00
  6. Thomas and Beulah: Poems Used Trade Paper $6.95

Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Poetry » A to Z

What Work Is New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$16.00 In Stock
Product details 96 pages Alfred A. Knopf - English 9780679740582 Reviews:
"Review" by , "What Work Is ranks as a major work by a major poet. It is very accessible and utterly American in tone and language."
  • back to top
Follow us on...

Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at