Brooker, Jewel Spears. Conversations with Denise Levertov. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1998. Collects interviews with Levertov conducted by various interviewers from 1963 to 1995. The most common themes addressed are faith, politics, feminism, and poetry.
Felstiner, John. “Poetry and Political Experience: Denise Levertov.” In Coming to Light: American Women Poets in the Twentieth Century, edited by Diane Wood Middlebrook and Marilyn Yalom. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1985. Shows that Levertov awakens human sensitivity—male and female—by insisting on the sacramental quality of all physical presence. In poetry, she finds hope while facing the horrors of war in Central America, in Vietnam, and in American cities. Felstiner’s words on the oratorio El Salvador: Requiem and Invocation are particularly worthwhile.
Lacey, Paul A. “Denise Levertov: A Poetry of Exploration.” In American Women Poets, edited by Harold Bloom. New York: Chelsea, 1986. Considers the influence of Hasidism in Levertov’s poetry: She treats the miraculous in a matter-of-fact tone. Her weakness in the early poetry, Lacey says, stemmed from an inability to deal seriously with evil in the world. Later, however, she grew into the political consequences of what it means to be, as she says, “members one of another.”
Marten, Harry. Understanding Denise Levertov. Columbia: South Carolina University Press, 1988. One of the most important studies of Levertov in book form, Marten’s analysis covers four decades of poetry. Individual chapters give an overview, a history of the earliest poetry, an analysis of the volumes that established her reputation, a consideration of her public voice, and a discussion of spiritual dimension in her later development. The annotated bibliography of critical articles is particularly helpful.
Rodgers, Audrey T. Denise Levertov: The Poetry of Engagement. Rutherford, N.J.: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1993. Examines Levertov’s political commitment to antiwar themes in particular, placing poems on this topic in relation to Levertov’s earlier work and her life. The author had access to Levertov herself and to previously unpublished letters in the preparation of this study.
Wagner-Martin, Linda. Denise Levertov. New York: Twayne, 1967. Although written when Levertov was in mid-career, this biography, survey of poems, and bibliography provide an excellent introduction to the poet’s life and work. Seven chapters discuss Levertov’s family and education in England, her poetic themes and forms, and influences from modernist poets. Includes a chronology and notes.