University of New England - Innovation for a Healthier Planet

Denise Levertov collection, 1964–1986

Full finding aid (pdf)

Collection Scope and Content

This collection includes correspondence, interviews, and articles.

Biographical/Historical Note

Denise Levertov was born and raised in England. Humanitarian politics came early into her life – her family was frequently involved with humanitarian efforts. Levertov knew at a young age that she wanted to be a writer. At the age of 12, she sent some poems to T. S. Eliot, who responded with a two page letter of encouragement. Her first poem was published when she was 17 and her first book was published six years later. In 1948, Levertov moved to the U.S. with her husband and lived mainly in New York, while summering in Maine. In the 1960s and 70s her work and life became much more politically active. Much of Levertov’s later life was spent teaching at various universities around the U.S. Upon retiring, she spent a year traveling and doing poetry readings in the U.S. and Britain. She died in 1997 at the age of 74.