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, The New York Review of Books

The newest collection by one of America’s most exciting poets

Debths

Poetry by Susan Howe

A collection in five parts, Susan Howe’s electrifying new book opens with a preface by the poet that lays out some of Debths’ inspirations—the art of Paul Thek, the Isabella Stewart Gardner collection, and early American writings. She also addresses memory —its threads and galaxies: “the mystery of strong music in the soul.”

Following that prose preface are four sections of poetry: “Titian Air Vent,” “Tom Tit Tot” (her newest collage poems), “Periscope,” and “Debths.” As always with Howe, Debths brings “a not-being-in-the-no.”

Editions: PaperbackEbook

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Paperback (published June 27, 2017)

ISBN
9780811226851
Price US
15.95
Price CN
21.95
Trim Size
6x9
Page Count
160

Ebook (published June 27, 2017)

ISBN
9780811226868

Susan Howe

American poet and essayist

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, The New York Review of Books
Howe is among the worthiest heirs to the high-modernist line in American poetry, interested in the accidents, smudges, and tears that fasten works of literature to their material embodiments on the page. Howe’s own ‘American aesthetic of uncertainty,’ shuttles among forms, genres, and states of matter. What connects it all are Howe’s powers of insight, and the implied relations between her sparkling trouvailles.
—Dan Chiasson, The New Yorker
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.’
Rain Taxi
Howe creates a finely woven exploration of narrative and transmission anchored in the American past and future. A fascinating look at art across time that can be visited many times without dulling.
Chicago Review of Books
Debths is a profound synthesis of Howe’s obsessions, methods, and concerns as a writer… an enactment of the eternally present and perpetually surprising conversation between poet and reader. Howe's writing is as vital now as it has ever been.
—Stephen Collis, Boston Review
A finely woven exploration of narrative and transmission anchored in the American past and future.
—Sarah Huener, Chicago Review of Books
Howe’s critical poetics are based, like Duchamp’s, in the powerful way in which we can reframe, re-contextualize what has been excluded from our traditional frames of attention.
Literary Hub
Definition of poetry as the intersection of sight, sound, and sense.
—Christopher Higgs, Big Other
As fascinating and compelling as any writer we have.
The Harvard Review
Invaluable—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, The Boston Review
A fresh occasion not just to celebrate Howe, who turned seventy-eight this year, but also to read her anew, which is the more formidable and ultimately more rewarding charge. Wildly and wantonly she is bringing everything to the table, including poetry, history, research, politics, autobiography, imagination, obsession and love, all the while demonstrating how strange, puzzling, and untamed writing and thinking can be.
—Maggie Nelson, Artforum