Marie Howe

(1950 / Rochester, New York / United States)

Biography of Marie Howe

Marie Howe poet

Marie Howe (born 1950 Rochester, New York) is an American poet. Her most recent poetry collection is The Kingdom of Ordinary Time (W.W. Norton, 2008). In August 2012 she was named the State Poet for New York.
Howe is the eldest girl of nine children. She attended Sacred Heart Convent School and earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Windsor.
She worked briefly as a newspaper reporter in Rochester and as a high school English teacher in Massachusetts. Howe did not devote serious attention to writing poetry until she turned 30. At the suggestion of an instructor in a writers' workshop, Howe applied to and was accepted at Columbia University where she studied with Stanley Kunitz and received her M.F.A. in 1983.
She has taught writing at Tufts University and Warren Wilson College. She is presently on the writing faculties at Columbia University, Sarah Lawrence College, and New York University.
Her first book, The Good Thief, was selected by Margaret Atwood as the winner of the 1987 Open Competition of the National Poetry Series.[citation needed] In 1998, she published her best-known book of poems, What the Living Do; the title poem in the collection is a haunting lament for her brother with the plain-spoken last line: "I am living, I remember you."
Howe's brother John died of an AIDS-related illness in 1989. "John’s living and dying changed my aesthetic entirely," she has said. In 1995, Howe co-edited, with Michael Klein, a collection of essays, letters, and stories entitled In the Company of My Solitude: American Writing from the AIDS Pandemic.
Her poems have appeared in literary journals and magazines including The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Poetry, Agni, Ploughshares, and Harvard Review. Her honors include National Endowment for the Arts and Guggenheim fellowships.

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Hurry

We stop at the dry cleaners and the grocery store
and the gas station and the green market and
Hurry up honey, I say, hurry,
as she runs along two or three steps behind me
her blue jacket unzipped and her socks rolled down.

Where do I want her to hurry to? To her grave?
To mine? Where one day she might stand all grown?
Today, when all the errands are finally done, I say to her,

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