The Poetry of Susan Howe: History, Theology, Authority

The Poetry of Susan Howe: History, Theology, Authority

by W. Montgomery, Will Montgomery
This book is a comprehensive guide to Susan Howe's major work and addresses such key themes as poetic form, history, and authority.


This book is a comprehensive guide to Susan Howe's major work and addresses such key themes as poetic form, history, and authority.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Montgomery provides a comprehensive survey of Howe's poetry, one that makes use of the poet's correspondence, journals, and working notes." - Choice

"In The Poetry of Susan Howe, it is evident that Montgomery has done an amazing amount of research regarding Howe s career and writings; the pages are peppered with numerous quotations from her writing and from interviews with her. His analysis is also exceptional, making this a book full of insight into a 'difficult' poet." - Rain Taxi Review of Books

"Most readings of Susan Howe s poetry to date have been insider views:they account for Howe s themes, images, and structures by lining these up with her own stated views and purposes. Will Montgomery s may thus be the first to read Howe s oeuvre critically, to examine what he sees as the unresolved but productive tension in Howe s work between a poetry of redress and a poetry of grace. To call Howe s writing (whether poetry or prose ) anti-authoritarian or anti-canonical, for example, is to downplay its complexity and contradiction: hers is an oeuvre that returns poetic language back to a founding and incoercible strangeness. Refusing to classify this dazzling and indispensable writer as a language poet, feminist poet, or pragmatist, Montgomery gives us a highly original reading of Howe s work that is also a study of the larger issues now confronting poetry and poetics." - Marjorie Perloff, Professor of English Emerita, Stanford University and author of Unoriginal Genius: Poetry by Other Means in the New Century

"This lucid study of the full span of Susan Howe s poetry draws on impressive, scholarly research into her letters, essays, poetry, and performances to reveal in compelling detail just how much she has embedded her poetry in a poetic tradition stretching back beyond Wallace Stevens to the Elizabethans, as well as engaging with her avant-garde contemporaries. Will Montgomery is a subtle, perceptive, and knowledgeable guide through the forests of allusion, and to the barriers to interpretation, as he traces Howe s interests in gender and genealogy, the sacred, histories of authority, lyric modes of subjectivity, and the powers of language. The result is a judicious affirmation of the scope and richness of Susan Howe s work that sends one back to the poems with new insight. The Poetry of Susan Howe is indispensable for anyone interested in recent developments in the modernist poetic tradition." - Peter Middleton, Professor of English, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, University of Southampton and author of Distant Reading

Product Details

Palgrave Macmillan US
Publication date:
Modern and Contemporary Poetry and Poetics Series
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.80(d)

Meet the Author

Will Montgomery is RCUK Research Fellow in Contemporary Poetry and Poetics in the English Department at Royal Holloway, University of London. He is the co-editor (with Robert Hampson) of Frank O’Hara Now.

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