Donald Levering was born in Kansas City and grew up there and in Oceanside, New York. He has worked as a teacher on the Diné reservation, groundskeeper, and human services administrator. In addition to winning a NEA Fellowship, Levering won the Quest for Peace Prize in rhetoric and was featured in the Academy of American Poets Forum, the Ad Astra Poetry Project, and the Duende Reading Series. Among his recent honors are the 2014 Literal Latté Award ($1,000 for a long poem), 1st Runner-Up for the Mark Fischer Prize in 2015, Runner-Up for the 2016 Ruth Stone Prize, and the 2017 Tor House Foundation Robertson Jeffers Prize. His 6th full-length poetry book, The Water Leveling with Us, placed second in the 2015 National Federation of Press Women Creative Verse Book Competition and his most recent book, Coltrane’s God, was Runner-Up for the 2016 New England Book Festival Contest in poetry.
His poems have appeared in The Alembic, Atlanta Review, Blue Rock Review, Bloomsbury Review, Columbia, Commonweal, Harpur Palate, Hiram Poetry Review, Hunger Mountain, Notre Dame Review, Poet & Critic, Poet Lore, Quiddity, Southern Poetry Review, Water~Stone, and Yemassee. Father of a son and daughter, he is married to the artist Jane Shoenfeld and lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He has volunteered with Earthwatch as a species preservation activist for leatherback turtles in Costa Rica, great white sharks in South Africa, and queen conchs in Belize