Magdalene: Poems

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Product Details

W. W. Norton & Company
Publish Date
6.2 X 0.7 X 8.4 inches | 0.6 pounds
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About the Author

Marie Howe is the former poet laureate of New York and the author of three previous collections. Magdalene was longlisted for the National Book Award. Howe teaches at Sarah Lawrence College and lives in New York City.


Each book of Marie Howe's is a singular accomplishment, but none is as wildly alive as this. How does she see with such devastating clarity? Or allow so much of 'what the living do' onto the page: avoidance, longing, tenderness, resentment and desire? What makes the engine go? The wry, knowing, seeking voice of Mary Magdalene, worn like the most transparent of masks. The experience of mothering a daughter, a long arc of love building its house in the years. Howe sweeps up a life and fixes it on the page, and stands here before us, the stunned and grateful witness of all that's taken and granted by love and time.--Mark Doty
Gorgeous, ferocious, lacerating, sexy, and profoundly compassionate. I could swear the book emitted light when I put it down on my bedside table and turned off the lamp.--Michael Cunningham
[A] smart, engrossing collection.
A radical simplicity and seriousness of purpose, along with a fearless interest in autobiography and its tragedies and redemptions, has always characterized the work of Marie Howe.
Marie Howe is magic. And in this book, her biggest magic trick is making the iconic biblical character, Mary Magdalene, both mystical and relatable, at once mythological and completely contemporary.
In her fourth collection, former New York poet laureate Howe creates a poignant portrait of contemporary womanhood through the persona of Mary Magdalene. . . . This newest collection aptly demonstrates Howe's wry, bittersweet talent. Highly recommended for all poetry collections.