Poets and Critics symposium 2018.2: Susan Howe, Friday 12 and Saturday 13 October, Pratt Institute

from New Directions website

Poets and Critics symposiums are not conferences in the traditional, academic sense of the term; no formal papers are usually given. They are 2-day seminar-like discussions (preceded, in this particular case, by the event at the Beinecke Library on Thursday 11 October) in the presence of the invited poet. There is no specific preconceived program for the 2 days of the symposium: as the previous sessions of the program have shown, it seems important to let the conversation take its own course. Mini-papers (5 min) can however be given on specific topics, if you wish, to frame a specific question and open the discussion to include all aspects of Susan’s work: early and late poetry and essays, collaborations, teaching, radio shows… We may also close-read a passage collectively.

While the symposium may engage with all periods and aspects of Susan’s work, recommended reading includes her more recent publications: That This (2010); Spontaneous Particulars: The Telepathy of Archives (2014); The Quarry (2105); Debths (2017). Susan particularly singled out “Vagrancy in the Park” which she feels is a sort of summation of her essay writing and relates to the other essays, “Sorting Facts” and “The Disappearance Approach.” All three are reprinted in The Quarry. Please note you can access the essays by clicking on the links (“Sorting Facts” is password protected for JStor-members).


Thursday 11 October. Beinecke Library, Yale University

1:30-3:30 pm Beinecke Library, Yale University, New Haven.
We will go to the Beinecke Library (Yale). A selection of materials from Susan Howe’s literary archive will be on view along with materials from Beinecke collections that have figured prominently in Howe’s research and writing. Susan Howe will not be in attendance.

Friday 12 October. Pratt Institute, Brooklyn

>10 am-12 pm. Alumni Reading Room, Pratt Brooklyn Main Campus Library
200 Willoughby Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11205

10am: 1st session: preparatory meeting at Pratt (room tba). Please note that Susan Howe will not be present for this first session, which is devoted to preparing the conversations with her. This is the occasion to list and define the points we would like to discuss with her over the course of the Friday afternoon and Saturday sessions.


Susan Howe will be joining the group at 2pm on Friday 12 October.


> 2-5 pm. Higgins Hall Auditorium, Pratt Brooklyn, School of Architecture
61 St James Pl, Brooklyn, NY 11238

2-5 pm: 2nd session.
6-7:30 pm: reading.


Saturday 13 October. Pratt Institute, Brooklyn
> 11 am. Conference Room Dekalb 208, Pratt Brooklyn Main Campus
200 Willoughby Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11205

11 am: Coffee, tea and pastries
> 12 pm onwards. Alumni Reading Room, Pratt Brooklyn Library, Main Campus
200 Willoughby Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11205
12-3 pm: 3rd session
3:30-5:30 pm: 4th session
Susan Howe
From her first book, Hinge Picture in 1974, to her most recent, Debths, which won the 2018 Griffin Poetry Prize, Susan Howe has been a boundary-breaker in American poetry, creating a fusion of sound, typography, philosophy, and American history that is both fervently contemporary and grounded in a deep and nuanced understanding of American poetic traditions from Emerson onward. The author of over 30 books of poetry and prose, she has received the country’s highest poetic honors, including the Bollingen Prize in 2011, and the 2017 Robert Frost Medal from the Poetry Society of America.