LEVY, DARRYL ALLEN [d.a. levy]

LEVY, DARRYL ALLEN [d.a. levy] (29 Oct. 1942-24 Nov. 1968) was a native Cleveland poet well known within the national counterculture of the 1960s for his publications celebrating free expression and attacking social injustice and repression. Son of Joseph J. and Carolyn Levy, d.a. levy was also a painter and publisher; he published Cleveland's first underground newspaper, the Buddhist Third Class Junkmail Oracle (see UNDERGROUND PRESS). Locally, Levy gained notoriety for bringing the counterculture to Cleveland and his subsequent confrontations with police. His journal, Marijuana Quarterly, advocated the legalization of marijuana and was one reason narcotics agents raided Jas. Lowell's Asphodel Bookstore, which sold the journal, on 1 Dec. 1966. In Nov. 1966, a grand jury indicted Levy on charges of obscenity. On 28 Mar. 1967, he was arrested and charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor during a poetry reading on 15 Nov. 1966. His arrest attracted much local publicity, and his supporters distributed "legalize levy" buttons and stickers. Afraid of going to jail, Levy pleaded no contest to the latter charge in return for probation and dismissal of the obscenity charge. The legal battle left him angry, increasingly paranoid, and despondent. His arrest made him a media star but deepened his disillusionment with society, which he attacked as fascist. After arguing with his companion, Dagmar Ferek, and burning much of his poetry, Levy committed suicide on 24 Nov. 1968. Stunned by his death, Levy's friends paid tribute to him by continuing his newspaper and publishing his remaining poetry periodically through 1976. d.a. levy was buried in Whitehaven Cemetery.


Graphic Cleveland Memory in Green and Black Typeface reading "History at your fingertips  Cleveland Memory.org

View image at Cleveland Memory.

View image gallery at Cleveland Memory.

Article Categories