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The On Being Project

Marie Howe

The Power of Words to Save Us

The moral life, Marie Howe says, is lived out in what we say as much as what we do. She became known for her poetry collection What the Living Do, about her brother’s death at 28 from AIDS. Now she has a new book, Magdalene. Poetry is her exuberant and open-hearted way into the words and the silences we live by. She works and plays with a Catholic upbringing, the universal drama of family, the ordinary rituals that sustain us — and how language, again and again, has a power to save us.
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  • Marie Howe

    Marie Howe

    is the former Poet Laureate of New York and teaches writing at Sarah Lawrence College. She’s published four collections of poetry: What the Living Do, The Good Thief, The Kingdom of Ordinary Time, and Magdalene.