This collection fills in a missing chapter in the history of American women’s poetry by bringing a significant voice back into print. Barbara Howes has perfected a personal style that had little to do with the fashionable currents of her time. Dana Gioia has said of her “[O]ne sees Howes very clearly as a woman writing in one of the oddest but most important traditions of American poetry. She stands with Marianne Moore, Elizabeth Bishop, and ultimately Emily Dickinson in a lineage of women writers passionately committed to the independence and singularity of the poetic imagination. Collected poems 1945-1990 contains the lifework of one of America’s irreplaceable poets.”
Forty years ago in The New Yorker Louise Bogan wrote: “Barbara Howes is the most accomplished women poet of the younger writing generation—one who has found her own voice, chosen her own material, and worked out her own form. Miss Howes is daring with language, but she is also accurate. Her originality stands in constant close reference to the material in hand, and although much of that material is fantastic or exotic, it is never so simply for its own sake.”
Drawing from seven previous books, this collection confirms and consolidates the reputation of Barbara Howes as a timeless poet whose fine voice and surprising insights will continue to delight all lovers of language.