Excerpt from

The Quietist

Zero built a nest

in my navel. Incurable

Longing. Blood too—

Fanny Howe at the Academy of American Poets

Fanny Howe at Poetry Foundation

Fanny Howe interviewed by Leonard Schwartz in Jacket

Leonard Schwartz: There's a passage in the essay entitled "Fairies" in which you quote the British-Guinese writer Wilson Harris. "The frame that conventional realism uses endorses the absence of cosmic love. It consolidates the nation state and the vested interests of the nation state." Could you comment on that passage in this context?

Fanny Howe: Well I think that the whole pressure that convention exerts on artists is very subtle and very powerful. It does hark continually back to the values that are familiar. It's very hard to strike out into wider cosmic imaginings—towards something like the Bhagavad-Gita or Scripture—without losing your way home. To separate yourself from what you know is to leave tradition behind, and that is extremely difficult. In fairy tales you see the return home as a kind of law that runs counter to the law of free will.


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