The Europe of Trusts contains three brilliant, landmark books which Susan Howe first published in the early 1980s: The Liberties, Pythagorean Silence, and Defenestration of Prague. These are the books -- following her volumes from the previous decade (Hinge Picture, Chanting at the Crystal Sea, Cabbage Gardens, and Secret History of the Dividing Line) -- which established Howe as one of America's most interesting and important contemporary writers. Her work, as Geoffrey O'Brien put it, is a voyage of reconnaissance in language, a sounding out of ancient hiding places, and it is a voyage full of risk. 'Words are the only clues we have, ' she has said. 'What if they fail us?'
Author of more than a dozen books of poetry and two of literary criticism, Susan Howe's recent collection of poems That This, published by New Directions won the Bollingen Prize in 2011. Her earlier critical study, My Emily Dickinson, was re-issued in 2007 with an introduction by Eliot Weinberger. Three CDs in collaboration with the musician/composer David Grubbs, Thiefth, Souls of the Labadie Tract, and Frolic Architecture were released on the Blue Chopsticks label (2005; 2011). Howe held the Samuel P. Capen Chair in Poetry and the Humanities at the State University New York at Buffalo until her retirement in 2007. The recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, she was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1999 and served as a Chancellor to the Academy of American Poets between 2000-2006. In fall, 2009 she was awarded a Fellowship to the American Academy at Berlin. Grenfell Press published a fine press edition of Frolic Architecture with photographic prints by James Welling in 2009. Recently she was an Artist In Residence at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. In October, 2013 her word collages were exhibited at the Yale Union in Portland, Oregon, and in the Whitney Biennial Spring, 2014. A limited press edition of Tom Tit Tot (the word collages which amount to a series poem) with art work by R.H. Quaytman has just been published by MoMA in New York, and Spontaneous Particulars:The Telepathy of Archives, (2014) published by Christine Burgin and New Directions.