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is a critical, scholarly, poetic, subversive, mordant, brilliant book written by the poet Susan Howe.It is by far the best work about our greatest poet I have ever read, and I have read many.” —Siri Hustvedt“Howe’s brilliant, idiosyncratic essay is—like much of her work—a combination of fierce rigor and deep generosity.
But it’s still in print and a contemporary classic because it is also a powerful book about Howe.
What Howe has to say about Dickinson repeatedly says something apt and penetrating about her own writing.
Howe unlocks.” —Ben Lerner On August 2, 2017, join poet and essayist Susan Howe, professor and translator Antoine Cazé, and publishers Barbara Epler and Isabella Checcaglini as they discuss Howe’s Howe held the Samuel P.
Capen Chair in Poetry and the Humanities at the State University New York at Buffalo until her retirement in 2007.
Her remarks about Dickinson’s “talent” point up how typically Howe herself writes out of the sense of urgency neatly expressed in that image of the writer as a reader grasping at straws and then spinning them into gold, like the miller’s daughter in the Rumpelstiltskin story, whose life depended on it.
This is what Howe does with Dickinson and all her quotations.
Susan Howe was born on June 10th, 1937 in Boston, Massachusetts, to the American law professor Mark De Wolfe Howe and the Irish playwright and director Mary Manning.
From the very beginning of her artistic career, Howe has felt the necessity to explore history, especially both sides of her family roots, to get a place of her own and not to feel like an outsider moving between countries without belonging to any.
My Emily Dickinson appeared in an era when feminist critics were rewriting literary history by bringing gender to the center of analysis and recovering the work of women writers.
Howe joins in that general project but rejects any suggestion that Dickinson was a victim, a shut-in oppressed by patriarchal society and prevented from publishing.