Philip Levine quote: "I write what's given me to write." Background image is black and white plumes of smoke or steam from a factory.

Dark Angels Note 135

Dearest Friends

Welcome back to our weekly Friday Note.



This week marks the anniversary of the passing of poet Philip Levine who died at the age of 87 on 14 February 2015.

This award-winning poet published 17 collections and was appointed Poet Laureate in the US in 2011.

In his work he seeks to find a voice for the voiceless, whether they be exploited workers, Spanish revolutionaries or unspoken simple truths.



In his poem, The Simple Truth, Levine describes anecdotally an occasion of buying, cooking and eating potatoes in his hometown of Fresno, California. The poem draws on his experience of friendship, home life and the symbolism of everyday objects and experiences as known truths.

Watch Philip Levine read The Simple Truth.



In Levine’s poem The Second Going, he pays tribute to Gwendolyn Brooks by taking a line from her poem, The Boy Breaking Glass, and including it in his.

Try borrowing a line from a favourite poem and using it to inspire or lead a new piece of your own. Use it as the first line, the final line, or take words to start or end each line.



Keep sending us your poems, writings, links and writerly whatnots that you’d like to share with the wider Dark Angels family.




Weekly Tuesday Gatherings

Over the coming weeks, we have a few adjustments to the schedule of our weekly gatherings.

21 Feb: no gathering

28 Feb: 7pm as usual

7 Mar: 7pm as usual

14 Mar: no gathering

21 Mar: no gathering

28 Mar: 7pm as usual


Join us for a reflective hour of reading, writing and communing led by Neil Baker. Everyone is welcome; in fact, invite a friend along. We meet at 7pm UK time. To join us, click here on the night. There’s no need to register in advance and we’ll be using the same link every week from now on.


Hearts, Inspired, 16-21 June 2023

Join us for a 5-day writing retreat on Whidbey Island, in the US Pacific Northwest. We’ll explore writing, creativity and inspiration through guided writing, personal projects and time in nature.

Find out more here.


Words Are Seeds, 19-23 June 2023

Five days of writing, rituals and nature connection at Bore Place over the summer solstice. We’re expecting a lively, stimulating and playful experience, with plenty of time for individual pondering, wondering and wandering – and writing.

Find out more here.


Be well, keep reading, keep writing and know that we’re always here.

From everyone at Dark Angels