Dana Levin


Poet Dana Levin grew up in California’s Mojave Desert and earned a BA from Pitzer College and an MA from New York University. Her collections of poetry include Banana Palace (2016), Sky Burial (2011), Wedding Day (2005), and In the Surgical Theatre (1999). Levin’s free-verse, image-driven poems grapple with the legacies of both Confessionalism and Language poetry by engaging and questioning the self, while using line breaks, punctuation, and syntax as primarily sound-driven tools.

Levin’s honors include awards and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Rona Jaffe Foundation, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Witter Bynner Foundation and the Library of Congress, the Lannan Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the Whiting Foundation. Her work has been widely anthologized and has won several Pushcart Prizes. She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico and teaches at Maryville University in St. Louis, where she serves as distinguished writer in residence. Source

According to the Gospel of Yes

It’s a thrill to say No.


The way it smothers

everything that beckons―


Any baby in a crib

will meet No’s palm

on its mouth.


And nothing sweet

can ever happen






to No―


who holds your tongue captive

behind your teeth, whose breath

whets the edge






of the guillotine―


N, head of Team Nothing,

and anti-ovum O.


And so the pit can never







the cherry―


in No, who has drilled a hole

inside your body―



Say it out loud.

Why do you love the hole


No makes.





Literary Movements:


Anthology Years:




Strength & Resilience

Literary Devices:


an exclamatory passage in a speech or poem addressed to a person (typically one who is dead or absent) or thing (typically one that is personified)


a line break interrupting the middle of a phrase which continues on to the next line


an instruction or a command


the attribution of human qualities to a non-human thing

Rhetorical Question

a question asked for effect, not necessarily to be answered