Howe is among the most articulate and inventive writers we have, and cements her eminent position in a lineage of pedagogical poets of the United States. She instructs by intuitive connections between disparate strands. Her books continue to reveal possibilities in the most out-of-the-way texts. This library cormorant and her daring trespasses remain as shocking and singular as ever.

—Jonathan Creasy, The Los Angeles Review of Books

Susan Howe’s classic groundbreaking exploration of early American literature

The Birth-mark

Nonfiction by Susan Howe

Your Independent Bookstore Barnes & Noble

Paperback (published December 7, 2015)

ISBN
9780811224659
Price US
16.95
Price CN
19.95
Trim Size
5 x 8
Page Count
208

Ebook (published December 7, 2015)

ISBN
9780811224666

Susan Howe

American poet and essayist

More by this author

Howe is among the most articulate and inventive writers we have, and cements her eminent position in a lineage of pedagogical poets of the United States. She instructs by intuitive connections between disparate strands. Her books continue to reveal possibilities in the most out-of-the-way texts. This library cormorant and her daring trespasses remain as shocking and singular as ever.

—Jonathan Creasy, The Los Angeles Review of Books

We workday scholars must not be intimidated by this scholar-poet”s fierce critical exactitudes. Howe”s is a critical model for our schooling, a procedure and an ethos well worth study, opposition, imitation, revision. “I am heading toward certain discoveries.” Not knowledge, or what Howe so brilliantly explores under the name “Sovereignty,” but exploration.

—Jerome McGann

The fabled violence of American patrimony is here tracked and qualified by brilliantly perceptive readings. Susan Howe, herself “a library-cormorant” in Coleridge”s phrase, brings to her task the powers of a major poet and the adamant measure of the “Other” she, as all women, have been forced to be. This remarkable book is vivid testimony of that voice we can no longer silence.

—Robert Creeley

The Birth-mark flashes out the figure of the Poet who stands behind Howe”s poems—a figure who is, I have come to believe, at the heart of her achievement—and it gives a spirited lesson in how important essays are.

—Eric Murphy Selinger, Parnassus

Invaluable—a reconnaissance mission in language and history.

—John Pallatella, The Boston Review

The Birth-Mark awakened me to the possibility of writing criticism wildly and wantonly, of bringing everything to the table, including history, research, politics, autobiography, imagination, obsession, and love.

—Maggie Nelson, Artforum

Invaluable….A reconnaissance mission in language and history.

—John Palattella, The Boston Review

An astonishing work re-presenting the American past, its history, literature, texts, and critics. At once gnomic and lucid, grave and scintillating—passionate [with] fierce originality.

—Rachel Blau DuPlessis

As a poet and a critic she articulates precisely those soundings of uncertainty, those zones of failed or impaired utterance that constitute the literary history of America’s uneasy commerce with the word.

—Richard Sieburth, Times Literary Supplement

Monomania has its rewards – an incantatory power that shines through. Howe’s images, being historical as well as biographical, have the eerie shading of ghosts half-believed in, giving a surreal, dreamlike atmosphere reminiscent of Borges at his sharpest.

Kirkus Reviews