Marie Howe shares life experience through poetry

Alessandro Andreani, Writer

In her poetry reading in Bucknell Hall on April 1, American poet Marie Howe discussed how art helps us to understand fundamental questions about where we come from.

Howe made segues between each of the readings by giving personal anecdotes, some of which included the loss of her brother and her own reflections on what it means to be alive.

During the event, which was sponsored by the Stadler Center for Poetry, Howe read poems from two of her volumes of poetry, “What the Living Do” (1997) and the more recent “The Kingdom of Ordinary Time” (2008).

“I think art allows us to ask the questions: Who are we? Where do we come from? Where are we going? Poetry in particular allows us to deal with these questions,” Howe said.

Howe is also the author of another collection of poems, “The Good Thief” (1998), and is the co-editor of a book of essays, “In the Company of My Solitude: American Writing from the AIDS Pandemic” (1994).

Howe’s poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Harvard Review, and The Partisan Review. Currently, Howe teaches creative writing at Sarah Lawrence College, Columbia University, and New York University.

Howe has been the recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the Bunting Institute at Radcliffe College, and is the 2012-2014 Poet Laureate of New York State.

“[Her] poems, as with all of Howe’s work, contain a paradox; they remind us that it is precisely in the ordinary and seemingly un-miraculous that miracles–like life itself and each of us–are to be found,” Stephanie Wenner ’14 said in reference to “The Kingdom of Ordinary Time.”

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