A Late Style of Fire: Larry Levis, American Poet


Sequoia 2 Sat, Oct 15, 2016 8:00 PM
Rafael 2 Sun, Oct 16, 2016 11:15 AM
Film Info
Section:Valley of the Docs
Mind the Gap
Running Time:93 min.
Premiere Status:World
Director:Michele Poulos
Producer:Gregory Donovan
Michele Poulos
Cinematographer:Kevin Gallagher
Editor:Gloriana Fonseca Wills
Print Source:Michele Poulos
Note Writer:Brian Karl


From the gorgeous opening shots of windswept Central California fields, enhanced by the evocative score of indie artist Iron & Wine, this engaging documentary celebrating poet Larry Levis (1946-1996) sets the tone for a unique American voice. Testimony aplenty from a wide range of his thoughtful contemporaries—fellow poets, ex-wives, coworkers, friends, and family—creates a rich context of understanding and appreciation for the film’s most impressive highlight: Levis’s words themselves. While portraying some of the complexity and darkness of his character, and acknowledging a life sadly cut short, the film doesn’t wallow in simplistic romantic notions of a “tortured artist.” Instead, it expands on the qualities and accomplishments of a vision that transports the reader powerfully through long-form narrative “poems of witness.” From contemplation of the immediate and ordinary in pursuit of the mystery of experience and loss, Levis’s work embraces mundane reality even while heading towards an infinite beyond.

Guests in attendance 10/15 & 10/16: Michele Poulos (director), Sam Beam (composer),

Gregory Donovan (producer)

A Late Style of Fire producer and voice actor Gregory Donovan will be performing Friday Oct. 14th, 7 p.m for the Mill Valley Public Library's annual Litquake show titled "Naked Truth: True Stories of Kismet" where he'll discuss his friendship with the film's subject, Larry Levis. Please visit the Mill Valley Library website for more information.

Thanks to our Community Partner the Marin Poetry Center

Additional Information

Michele Poulos is an award-winning screenwriter, award-winning poet, and filmmaker. She earned a BFA in film from New York University, an MFA in creative writing (fiction) from Virginia Commonwealth University, and an MFA in creative writing (poetry) from Arizona State University. While at NYU, she worked as an intern for Albert Maysles at his production company Maysles Films. Her original screenplay, Mule Bone Blues, won the 2010 Virginia Screenwriting Competition and placed in the second round of the 2015 Sundance Screenwriters Lab Competition and the second round of the 2010 Austin Screenplay Competition. Iris Press published her first full-length poetry collection, Black Laurel, in March 2016. Her poetry chapbook, A Disturbance in the Air, won the 2012 Slapering Hol Press Chapbook Competition. Her poems and fiction, as well as reviews and essays, have been published in Best New Poets 2012, The Southern Review, Smartish Pace, Crab Orchard Review, Copper Nickel, Sycamore Review, Stone Canoe, Blackbird, and many other journals and anthologies. She recently completed co-writing a romantic comedy with a stand- up comic.