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Philip Levine was born in 1928 in Detroit, where he studied at Wayne University. After working as a labourer, he settled in Fresno, California, and also lived in other countries for some time, including Spain. He taught at Fresno until his retirement, and now divides his time between Fresno and Brooklyn, New York.
Levine has received many awards for his poetry, including the National Book Award (1980 & 1991), and the Pulitzer Prize in 1995 for The Simple Truth. He has published 16 collections of poems and two books of essays. Stranger to Nothing covers the full range of his American collections, from On the Edge (1963) to Breath (2004).