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.