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New Directions Publishing Corporation
Publish Date
5.9 X 8.9 X 0.1 inches | 0.45 pounds

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About the Author

Susan Howe has won the Bollingen Prize, the Frost Medal, and the Griffin Award. She is the author of such seminal works as Debths, ThatThis, TheMidnight, MyEmilyDickinson, TheQuarry, and TheBirthmark.


Monomania has its rewards--an incantatory power that shines through. Howe's images, being historical as well as biographical, have the eerie shading of ghosts half-believed in, giving a surreal, dreamlike atmosphere reminiscent of Borges at his sharpest.
For nearly thirty years, Howe has occupied a particular and invaluable place in American poetry. She's a rigorously skeptical and a profoundly visionary poet, a writer whose demystifying intelligence is matched by a passionate embrace of poetry's rejuvenating power.--John Palattella
Definition of poetry as the intersection of sight, sound, and sense.--Christopher Higgs
Howe's telepathic poetry is also the most attentive to materiality: handwriting, spacing, the slightest fold or crevice which might contain fragments, marginalia, a scribble of poesy. And that's just it--Howe's attention is the essential rigor of all poetry.
The intertextual erudition underpinning all of Howe's work is enabled--and ultimately exceeded--by an unquenchable and wide-eyed curiosity, an infinitely open-ended empathy, and the fervent belief in the notion that 'only art works are capable of transmitting chthonic echo-signals.'--Kevin Carollo"FAST BY JORIE GRAHAM AND DEBTHS BY SUSAN HOWE" (11/27/2017)
Debths is a fascinating look at art across time. Howe adroitly brings into conversation both identified and unknown source material to create a finely woven exploration of narrative and transmission anchored in the American past and future....composed of elements from her own childhood, the art of Paul Thek, draft annotations of late Yeats, fairy tales, dictionary entries, and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum...the resulting counterpoint is quite complex, but it is ultimately one of strange consonance that rings true in the same way as a story too strange to have been invented.-- (06/19/2017)
Howe should be read in the company of Pound, Stevens, Stein, Ashbery and other American poets who reconfigured the ground rules of their art. With her long career in view today, her comment on Dickinson, in 1985, applies to Howe herself: 'A great poet, carrying the antique imagination of her fathers, requires of each reader to leap from a place of certain signification, to a new situation, undiscovered, and sovereign. She carries intelligence of the past into future of our thought by reverence and revolt.--Langdon Hammer