How Not To Compose That Poem: Marie Howe with Billy Hough (WILLIAMSBURG)


Most book events entail a reading from an author's latest work, often a conversation with a moderator, and questions from the audience. This old formula is time tested, and a great way for authors to connect with their audience, many of whom are interested in the particulars of the writing process. But we thought we'd shake things up a bit.

Billy Hough, a downtown cabaret star (Scream Along with Billy), erstwhile film actor (RampartTime Out of Mind), and ex-punk rocker (the GarageDogs), is also the events coordinator for McNally Jackson. As a writer and performer himself, Billy realizes that most of the great lessons come not from successes, but from mistakes. With this in mind, Billy is launching a new series of interviews: "The How NOT To Summits," especially for the McNally Jackson Williamsburg location.

In this edition, Billy Hough speaks to acclaimed poet Marie Howe. From the indelible lyric personae of Howe's first collection, The Good Thief, to the book-length elegy of What the Living Do, dedicated to her brother John, who died in 1989 of complications from AIDS, Howe's work is given to the specificities of timeless human experience. Her latest book, Magdalene, is a deeply spiritual work of grief, transporting the figure of Mary Magdalene to an erotically suffused present-day cityscape. “Marie Howe’s poems are remarkable for their focused, intense, and haunting lyricism," writes Arthur Sze. "Her poems characteristically unfold through a series of luminous particulars that gather emotional power as they delve into the complexities of the human heart. Her poems are acclaimed for writing through loss with verve, but they also find the miraculous in the ordinary and transform quotidian incidents into enduring revelation.” 

Event date: 

Wednesday, April 4, 2018 - 7:00pm

Event address: 

Magdalene: Poems Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393285307
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - March 28th, 2017