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Susan Howe

1937–

Susan Howe was born on June 10, 1937, in Boston, Massachusetts. She is the author of several poetry collections, including Debths (New Directions, 2017), which received the 2018 Griffin International Poetry Prize, That This (New Directions, 2010), The Midnight (2003), Kidnapped (2002), The Europe of Trusts (2002), Pierce-Arrow (1999), Frame Structures: Early Poems 1974-1979 (1996), The Nonconformist's Memorial (1993), The Europe of Trusts: Selected Poems (1990), and Singularities (1990).

She is also the author of two books of criticism: The Birth-Mark: Unsettling the Wilderness in American Literary History (1993), which was named an "International Book of the Year" by the Times Literary Supplement, and My Emily Dickinson (New Directions, 1985).

Her work also has appeared in Anthology of American Poetry, edited by Cary Nelson (Oxford University Press, 1999); The Norton Anthology of Contemporary American Poetry (2003); and Poems for the Millennium, Volume 2, edited by Pierre Joris and Jerome Rotherberg (1998).

She has received two American Book Awards from the Before Columbus Foundation and was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1999. In 1996 she was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship and in the winter of 1998 she was a distinguished fellow at the Stanford Institute of the Humanities. In 2011, Howe received Yale University's Bollingen Prize in American Poetry.

She was a longtime professor of English at the State University of New York at Buffalo and held the Samuel P. Capen Chair of Poetry and the Humanities. She served as a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets from 2001 to 2006. She lives in Guilford, Connecticut.


Selected Bibliography

Poetry

Debths (New Directions, 2017)
That This (New Directions, 2010)
The Midnight (2003)
Kidnapped (2002)
The Europe of Trusts (2002)
Pierce-Arrow (1999)
Frame Structures: Early Poems 1974-1979 (1996)
The Nonconformist's Memorial (1993)
The Europe of Trusts: Selected Poems (1990)
Singularities (1990)

Susan Howe
Photo credit: Brian Palmer

By This Poet

7

Pythagorean Silence [excerpt]

1.

age of earth and us all chattering

a sentence   or character
suddenly

steps out to seek for truth   fails 
falls

into a stream of ink   Sequence 
trails off

must go on

waving fables and faces   War 
doings of the war

manoeuvering between points 
between

any two points     which is 
what we want   (issues at stake)

bearings and so

holes in a cloud   are minutes passing 
which is

which
view   odds of images swept rag-tag

silver and grey
epitomes

seconds   forgeries engender 
(are blue)   or blacker

flocks of words flying together   tense 
as an order

cast off to crows

The Midnight [For here we are here]


For here we are here
BEDHANGINGS
daylight does not reach 
Vast depth on the wall
Neophyte

Alapeen Paper Patch Muslin
Calico Camlet Dimity Fustian
Serge linsey-woolsey say

A wainscot bedsten & Curtans
& vallains & iron Rodds
Many bedsteds were roped
"Bedsted. . . .& bed Rope

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