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The Poetic Imagination of a Political Mystic:
Denise Levertov’s Final Years in the Pacific Northwest

Kevin Burke, SJ
Tuesday, May 21 at 4pm
Join us for a reception at 3:30pm
Le Roux Room, Student Center 160

Click here to register (In-person and remote options available)

The final chapter of Denise Levertov's remarkable poetic journey (1923-1997) unfolded in Seattle, where she moved in 1989. That same year she also entered the Catholic Church and several years later she engaged in a six-month process of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola under the direction of a Northwest Province Jesuit, Fr. Lee Kapfer, S.J.

Born in London into a Jewish-Christian family, she is recognized as one of the greatest American poets of the post-WWII generation. Her poetry reveals deep political passions in the causes of peacemaking, racial and social justice, and care for the earth, along with a profound interreligious spirituality from which she wrote some of the finest Christian poetry in the English language since Gerard Manley Hopkins.

Kevin F. Burke, S.J., grew up in Wyoming and after entering the Society of Jesus, taught at Weston Jesuit School of Theology in Cambridge, Massachusetts, before becoming Dean of the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley, California. He currently serves as Professor of Theology and Vice President of University Mission at Regis University in Denver, Colorado. The author or editor of seven books, including the first book-length examination of the liberation theology of the Salvadoran Jesuit martyr, Ignacio Ellacuría, S.J., he is currently completing a book tentatively entitled Opening the Doors of the World: Theology in the Poetry of Denise Levertov.


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