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Susan Howe Papers
MSS 0201  
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Papers of Susan Howe, American poet. The collection consists of Howe's literary correspondence, poetry manuscripts, notes and typescripts for readings and talks, personal and working journals, recordings, research files, and art/poetry installations dating from the 1950s to 2002.
Susan Howe (b. 1937) is an American artist, poet, and writer. Howe's poetry evolved from her painting and drawing career, and her first major publication was the 1974 edition of Hinge Picture (New York, Telephone Books). Closely associated with the late 1970s and 1980s Language Poets' movement, Susan Howe's poetry and scholarship are most accurately characterized as language-based and experimental. Howe's early training and careers in drama and visual arts (she was an actress and an assistant stage designer at the Gate Theatre in Dublin and graduated from the Boston Museum School of Fine Arts in 1961) are reflected in the dramatic sections of her poems, as in The Liberties, and in her attention to the visual aspect of the page. Her mother, Mary Manning Howe, an Irish actress and playwright, and her father, Mark DeWolfe Howe, a Harvard Law School professor, each appear as influences in her poetry. Much of the subject and location of her work--her close affinity with Emily Dickinson and early American history, as in Articulation of Sound Forms in Time, her interest in Jonathan Swift's Irish residency in The Liberties--reveals Howe's Irish ancestry combined with hard-biting New England literary heritage and politics.
29.0 Linear feet (69 archives boxes, 4 card file boxes, 6 oversize folders)
Publication rights are held by the creator of the collection.
Diaries dated 1977-1981 (Box 11, Folders 4-8) are restricted; access requires the written permission of Susan Howe. Letters written by Mary Manning Howe are restricted; access requires the written permission of Susan Howe and Fanny Howe. Letters of recommendation (Box 65, Folder 10 and Box 69, Folder 4) are restricted in accordance with state and federal law until 2075. Original audio cassette recordings and a zip disc in Box 73, Folder 8 are restricted. Patrons must request listener/user copies be produced.