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Marie HoweMarie Howe

Campbell McGrathCampbell McGrath


NYS Writers Institute, March 11, 2008
4:15 p.m. Seminar | Standish Room, Science Library, Uptown Campus
8:00 p.m. Reading | Recital Hall, Performing Arts Center, Uptown Campus

Marie Howe, winner of the National Poetry Series Prize for “The Good Thief,” and Campbell McGrath, winner of a MacArthur “genius grant,” will read from and discuss their work on Tuesday, March 11, 2008 at 8:00 p.m. in the Recital Hall, Performing Arts Center, on the University at Albany’s uptown campus. Earlier that day at 4:15 p.m., the authors will present an informal seminar in the Standish Room, 3rd Floor, Science Library, on the uptown campus. The events are sponsored by the New York State Writers Institute, and are free and open to the public.


Campbell McGrath is admired for accessible verse that explores the cultural and natural landscapes of the United States. Much of his work has been characterized as a witty and wise indictment of American consumerism. In recognizing his affinity for the American wilderness, “Outside” magazine has called him, “An acrobatic, exuberant poet, part Walt Whitman, part Tom Waits.... a writer who could help save poetry from academia and get the rest of us reading it again.” “Library Journal” has said, “McGrath sings American in a voice at once electric and eclectic, plumbing the best and worst of our society.”

McGrath’s latest poetry collection is “Seven Notebooks” (2008), a season-by-season accounting of a year in the life of its narrator, from spring in Chicago to summer at the Jersey shore to winter in Miami Beach. “Publishers Weekly” calls it, “... a big, ambitious, optimistic volume.” Previous collections include “Florida Poems” (2002), “Road Atlas” (1999), “Spring Comes to Chicago” (1996), and “American Noise” (1993). He is a three-time winner of the Academy of American Poets Prize, and a 1999 recipient of a MacArthur “genius grant.”

Marie Howe writes “a poetry of intimacy, witness, honesty, and relation” (“The Boston Globe”). Her newest collection is “The Kingdom of Ordinary Time” (2008), an exploration of ordinary, yet nevertheless miraculous, day-to-day moments—hurrying through errands, attending a dying mother, helping a child on the playground.  

Howe was selected by Stanley Kunitz for the Lavan Younger Poets Prize in 1988. Kunitz said, “Marie Howe’s poetry is luminous, intense, and eloquent, rooted in an abundant inner life. Her long, deep-breathing lines address the mysteries of flesh and spirit, in terms accessible only to a woman who is very much of our time and yet still in touch with the sacred.” Her first book of poems, “The Good Thief” (1989), was chosen by Margaret Atwood to be the winner of the National Poetry Series. Atwood said, “Marie Howe’s poetry doesn’t fool around . . . these poems are intensely felt, sparely expressed, and difficult to forget....” Howe is also the author of “What the Living Do: Poems” (1997), and co-editor of “In the Company of My Solitude: American Writing from the AIDS Pandemic” (1994).

For additional information, contact the Writers Institute at 518-442-5620 or online at https://www.albany.edu/writers-inst.