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INTERVIEWER

What is the value of poetry in such a brutal world?

[Fanny] HOWE

You’d have to ask that about all the arts. They lift everyone up. If you ask what good is music you’d say it’s an absurd question. Poetry is innate. You can’t not have poetry if you want to have a whole human being. I heard a Brazilian man at a party say, I hate going to poetry readings but my brain loves hearing it.

The Moviegoer: An Interview with Fanny Howe – William Corbett – Paris Review – 12/19/16

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You Can’t Warm Your Hands in Front of a Book but You Can Warm Your Hopes There

Fanny Howe

Feathers fluffed the ashtray bin at the bottom of the elevator. Feathers and a smeared black look littered the parking lot like mascara. A cage would glide back and let them out to merge with the other cars on La Brea. It looked as if a struggle had ended in tears between the bird and an enemy. She broke through the fear to examine it. No chicken claws, or comb, no wing, no egg. The neutrality of words like “nothing” and “silence” vibrated at her back like plastic drapes. How could there be a word for silence? A child’s

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