Marie Howe

Marie Howe

Past Event: Tuesday, March 15, 2011

At Benaroya Hall — Illsley Ball Nordstrom Recital Hall

Poetry Icon

Poetry

Marie Howe’s first book, The Good Thief, was selected by Margaret Atwood as the winner of the 1987 Open Competition of the National Poetry Series. Of her work, Atwood said “Marie Howe’s poetry doesn’t fool around. Reading it you feel interest always, delight often, and occasionally that cool wind at the back of the neck that makes you think there’s one more person in the room than there actually is. These poems are intensely felt, sparely expressed, and difficult to forget; poems of obsession that transcend their own dark roots.”

Marie Howe was born in 1950 in Rochester, New York, and was the oldest girl in her family of nine children. She attended Sacred Heart Convent School and earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Windsor. She began her professional life with a dedication to writing and words, working as a newspaper reporter and high school English teacher. Howe did not devote serious attention to writing poetry until she turned 30, when at the suggestion of an instructor in a writers’ workshop, she applied to Columbia University where she studied with poet Stanley Kunitz. Howe received her M.F.A. in 1983.

In 1998, she published a book of poems entitled What the Living Do. The title poem in the collection is an elegy to her brother John, who 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.

Thinking about poetry and everyday life, Howe searches for quiet: “This might be the most difficult task for us in postmodern life: not to look away from what is actually happening. To put down the iPod and the e-mail and the phone. To look long enough so that we can look through it—like a window.” Fellow poet Stanley Kunitz selected her for a Lavan Younger Poets Award from the Academy of American Poets in 1988. Her poems have appeared in literary journals and magazines including The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Poetry, and Harvard Review. Her most recent book, The Kingdom of Ordinary Time was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in 2008. Her other awards include fellowship grants from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the Bunting Institute, and the National Endowment for the Arts. She has taught at Tufts University and Dartmouth College, and currently teaches at Sarah Lawrence College, New York University, and Columbia University. She lives in New York City with her daughter.

Selected Work
The Good Thief (1988)
In the Company of My Solitude: American Writing from the AIDS Pandemic (editor, with Michael Klein, 1995)
What the Living Do (1998)
The Kingdom of Ordinary Time (2008)

Links
Essay: “Not to Look Away” in Oprah Magazine
Poem: “The Star Market” in The New Yorker
Video: Marie Howe reading “The Gate” on PBS: Poetry Everywhere with Garrison Keillor
Video: Marie Howe at the New York State Writers Institute in 2008
Interview: Bomb Magazine

Event Details

Benaroya Hall — Illsley Ball Nordstrom Recital Hall

200 University Street
Seattle, WA 98101

View directions.

Transportation & Parking

This event will be held in the Illsley Ball Nordstrom Recital Hall. The Recital Hall is located on the upper level of Benaroya Hall, up the stairs to the left side of the Box Office. Benaroya Hall is located at 200 University Street, directly across Second Avenue from the Seattle Art Museum. The public entrance to Benaroya Hall is along Third Avenue.


By Car

  • From Southbound I-5
    Take the Union Street exit (#165B). Continue onto Union Street and proceed approximately five blocks to Second Avenue. Turn left onto Second Avenue. The Benaroya Hall parking garage will be on your immediate left. The garage entrance is on Second Avenue, just south of Union Street.
  • From Northbound I-5
    Exit left onto Seneca Street (exit #165). Proceed two blocks and turn right onto Fourth Avenue. Continue two blocks. Turn left onto Union Street. Continue two blocks. Turn left onto Second Avenue. The Benaroya Hall parking garage will be on your immediate left. The garage entrance is on Second Avenue, just south of Union Street.
  • From Northbound Highway 99 (Aurora Avenue)
    Take the Seneca Street exit and move into the left lane. Turn left onto First Avenue and proceed one block. Take the next right (at the Hammering Man sculpture) onto University Street. Continue up the hill two blocks to Third Avenue. Turn left onto Third Avenue. Continue to the next block and turn left onto Union Street. Make the next left onto Second Avenue. The Benaroya Hall parking garage will be on your immediate left. The garage entrance is on Second Avenue, just south of Union Street.
  • From Southbound Highway 99 (Aurora Avenue)
    Take the Denny Way/Downtown exit. Keep right and cross over Denny Way onto Wall Street. Proceed approximately five blocks and turn left onto Second Avenue. Continue south on Second Avenue approximately eight blocks. The Benaroya Hall parking garage will be on your left. The garage entrance is on Second Avenue, just south of Union Street.

By Bus
Benaroya Hall is served by numerous bus routes. Digital reader boards along Third Avenue display real-time bus arrival information. For details and trip planning tools, call Metro Rider Information at 206.553.3000 (voice) or 206.684.1739 (TDD), or visit Metro online. The Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel, served by bus and light rail, has a stop just below the Hall (University Street Station).

Parking
The 430-car underground garage at Benaroya Hall provides direct access from the enclosed parking area into the Hall via elevators leading to The Boeing Company Gallery. Enter the garage on Second Avenue, just south of Union Street. Maximum vehicle height is 6’8″. Blink charging stations are available for electric vehicles. The event rate is $16.

Parking is also available at:

  • The Cobb Building (enter on University Street between Third and Fourth Avenues).
  • The Russell Investments Center (enter on Union Street between First and Second Avenues).
  • There are many other garages within a one-block radius of Benaroya Hall, along with numerous on-street parking options.

Accessibility

All of our venues have accessible seating and listening devices available. Click here for more information about accessibility and ADA services at Benaroya Hall.

Please contact us at sal@lectures.org or 206.621.2230 x10 for more details and to let us know you’re coming so we can better accommodate your needs.