Fanny Howe’s Ordinary Mysticism

Anthony Domestico at Commonweal:

Silence and endings are much on Howe’s mind these days. She is seventy-nine, slight but still spry, with a kind, angular face and sharp blue eyes. She has a puckish sense of humor: her friend, the philosopher Richard Kearney, described her to me as a “comic mystic, or a mystic comic.” The coffee shop I originally suggested was closed for the day. On our walk to the Fogg, she told me, in a voice that still recalls the 1950s Cambridge milieu in which she grew up, about her recent trip to Belfast and how much she’d loved Milkman, Anna Burns’s Booker Prize–winning novel about the Troubles.

Howe’s latest collection of poetry, Love and I, is by my accounting her seventh book in the past ten years. (Howe is so productive, and writes in so many different forms, that it’s hard to keep track of her oeuvre. Some publicity materials claim she’s published more than thirty books; others estimate forty-plus.)

more here.