As a poet, Levine has been preoccupied with domestic and modern urban life, loneliness, and love. His poetry is somber, reflective, and restrained; his language simple and direct. His take on the modern world is dark and unsentimental. Born in Detroit, Levine has taught writing at a number of universities, including Berkeley, Princeton, and Columbia. Levine was appointed the Library of Congress 18th Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry for 2011-2012.