This collection of new poems by one of the most respected poets in the United States uses motifs of advance and recovery, doubt and conviction—in an emotional relation to the known world. Heralded as "one of our most vital, unclassifiable writers" by the Voice Literary Supplement, Fanny Howe has published more than twenty books and is the recipient of the Gold Medal for Poetry from the Commonwealth Club of California. In addition, her Selected Poems received the 2001 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize for the Most Outstanding Book of Poetry Published in 2000 from the Academy of American Poets.
The poems in Gone describe the transit of a psyche, driven by uncertainty and by love, through various stations and experiences. This volume of short poems and one lyrical essay, all written in the last five years, is broken into five parts; and the longest of these, "The Passion," consecrates the contradictions between these two emotions. The New York Times Book Review said, "Howe has made a long-term project of trying to determine how we fit into God's world, and her aim is both true and marvelously free of sentimental piety." With Gone, readers will have the opportunity to experience firsthand Howe’s continuation of that elusive and fascinating endeavor.
Fanny Howe is Professor Emeritus of Writing and Literature at the University of California, San Diego. She is the author of more than twenty books of fiction and poetry, including Indivisible (2001), Selected Poems (California, 2000), and One Crossed Out (1998).
“Howe evokes a snowy, fairy-tale-like atmosphere and conflates the stations of the cross with the phases of earthly love. As Howe writes with great daring and delicacy about mortification and bliss, confinement and escape, unanswered phone calls and prayers, she illuminates the enigmatic core of existence.”—Booklist
“One of our most honored poets... Howe returns with a work as rich as it is unpredictable--and nicely pared to the essence.”—Library Journal
“This is a book of questions artfully unraveled.”—Craig Morgan Teicher Pleiades
“These poems have an almost eerie beauty - a beauty deriving the sparseness of the language.”—Miriam Sagan Santa Fe New Mexican
"With extraordinary self-scrutiny and complexity—unmatchable musical poise and beauty—Fanny Howe examines our relationship with 'other' worlds, purgatories of various kinds: genetic, historical, theological. She writes from a world where hell is as close as God, or family, or love, where nothing happens that can, her syntax doubling back, as though it were possible by such formal and linguistic means to transform doubt into faith. It is a wonder to watch this poet try to decipher error with the knowledge that each error is necessary and the only guide is disguised as love. Heart, come along and be as heartless/ as you know you are, she tells us. Work this honest is rare indeed."—Jorie Graham
"Howe's new volume is a double-edged sword: in it she creates beauty and questions it, pursues faith and lives with doubt, finds love and finds hate there waiting. Her book 'transverberates' with all the paradoxes at 'the crux/of the huddle.' Howe is always an unpretentious pilgrim 'shinnying up the silence' into ever thinner atmospheres. I trust her as much as I have ever trusted anyone."—Rae Armantrout, author of Veil: New and Selected Poems
"Fanny Howe's poems travel through stations, agonies, and intoxications to build a phenomenology of spirits. Her language lays bare the human condition of vision and unknowing, inheritance and reinvention. These impish devotions move holy and astray."—Elizabeth Willis, author of The Human Abstract
Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, Poetry Foundation