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Marie Howe is the author of three volumes of poetry, The Good Thief (1998), What the Living Do (1997), and The Kingdom of Ordinary Time (2008) and the co-editor of a book of essays, In the Company of My Solitude: American Writing from the AIDS Pandemic (1994). Stanley Kunitz selected Howe for a Lavan Younger Poets Prize from the American Academy of Poets. She has, in addition, been a fellow at the Bunting Institute at Radcliffe College and a recipient of NEA and Guggenheim fellowships. Her poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Poetry, Agni, Ploughsahres, Harvard Review, and The Partisan Review, among others. Currently, Howe teaches creative writing at Sarah Lawrence College, Columbia, and New York University.

Marie Howe wowed readers and critics alike with her first book of poems, The Good Thief. Selected by Margaret Atwood as the 1989 winner of the National Poetry Series, the book explored the themes of relationship, attachment, and loss in a uniquely personal search for transcendence. Said Atwood, "Marie Howe's poetry doesn't fool around . . . these poems are intensely felt, sparely expressed, and difficult to forget; poems of obsession that transcend their own dark roots." Howe sees her work as an act of confession, or of conversation. She says simply,"Poetry is telling something to someone." The Boston Globe calls her work, "a poetry of intimacy, witness, honesty, and relation."

Howe's equally acclaimed second book, What the Living Do, addressed the grief of losing a loved one. "The tentative transformation of agonizing, slow-motion loss into redemption is Howe's signal achievement in this wrenching second collection," said Publisher's Weekly, in choosing it as one of the five best volumes of poetry published that year. Part of the urgency and importance of Howe's poetry stems from its rootedness in real life-just ten minutes into her 1987 residence at the MacDowell Colony, Howe received a call from her brother John telling her that her mother had had a heart attack. Two years later, John died of AIDS, and her book What the Living Do is in large part an elegy to him. Howe's poetry is intensely intimate, and her bravery in laying bare the music of her own pain- but never the pain alone-is part of its resonance. Inside each poem there is also a joy, a new breath of life, some kind of redemption. "Each of them seems a love poem to me," says Howe.


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