A Poet in Brief
Wendy Steiner

Introduction to a reading given by Anne-Marie Levine, 10 February 2004

Anne-Marie Levine was born on Kristalnacht, and her parents took her from Brussels the day before the Nazis invaded. Shadowed by the Holocaust, she led a sunny life as a child in Los Angeles, a city she imagines as a map marked with X’s for the many European refugees in the arts living there. Trained as a concert pianist, she had an active career until at the age of forty she contracted a disease that made it impossible for her to play. Disappointed, furious, undaunted, she started writing poetry, her second volume appearing last year. A year or two ago, she began designing “boxes”—rooms furnished in many of the artistic movements of the twentieth century, which she builds with the help of her husband Bill. A close friend of Mark Rothko and other modernist masters, she takes her visual art as seriously—and wrily—as her writing. Now Anne-Marie has started taking lessons in music composition. So keep your ears open for what develops on that front. But in the meantime, we have the sound of her voice and the intelligence and archness of her mind to enjoy in this evening’s reading.