Former New York poet laureate Marie Howe reads from her poetry collections and speaks about the role of spirituality and imagination in her work. An acclaimed poet, Howe is the author of three poetry collections: The Good Thief (1988), What the Living Do (1997), and The Kingdom of Ordinary Time (2008).
Howe's work deals with themes of faith, loss, and family: the secular and the sacred, childhood and living. She grew up in a Catholic family, the eldest of nine children, and has said that the nuns who provided her education also shaped her theology: "I began to appreciate that spirituality could be rigorous. It could be imaginative." In What the Living Do, she faces the death of her brother from AIDS and writes about his loss with what the Boston Globe has described as "a poetry of intimacy, witness, honesty, and relation."
(Photo: Metropolitan Transportation Authority of New York (Poetry in Motion: The Poet is In) [CC by 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons, image cropped)
BIO: Marie Howe
Marie Howe has written three poetry collections: The Good Thief (1988), selected for the National Poetry Series; What the Living Do (1997), named one of the five best poetry collections of the year by Publishers Weekly; and The Kingdom of Ordinary Time (2008), a Los Angeles Times Book Prize finalist. The Poetry Foundation features her biography and work. She earned an MFA from Columbia University, where she studied with Stanley Kunitz, to whom she refers as "my true teacher."
Howe has taught at Sarah Lawrence College, Columbia University, and NYU. She coedited (with Michael Klein) the essay anthology In the Company of My Solitude: American Writing from the AIDS Pandemic (1994). She has received fellowships from the Bunting Institute at Radcliffe College, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Academy of American Poets, and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. She was the Poet Laureate of New York State from 2012 to 2014 and lives in New York City.