Other literary forms
Because the poetry of Susan Howe (how) poetry is engendered both by a close attention to the minims of language and by a constant examination of the ground from which the language stems, she has come into association with the group known as the Language Realists, or the school known as Language poetry, publishing in the magazines of that movement as well as in several anthologies predominantly or wholly of Language Realism: The L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E Book (1984, edited by Bruce Andrews and Charles Bernstein), 21 + 1 American Poets Today (1986, edited by Emmanuel Hocquard and Claude Royet-Journoud), In the American Tree (1986, edited by Ronald Silliman), and“Language” Poetries: An Anthology (1987, edited by Douglas Messerli).
Howe has also published several reviews and My Emily Dickinson (1985). This last, a book-length consideration of Dickinson’s work, elucidates the poetry not only of its subject but also of its author, and it is central to an understanding of her oeuvre. She explains her fascination with fragments from history in Incloser (1992): “By choosing to install certain narratives somewhere between history, mystic speech, and poetry, I have enclosed them in an organization although I know there are places no classificatory procedure can reach where connections between words and things we thought existed break off. For me, paradoxes and ironies of fragmentation are particularly compelling.” Howe’s particular interest in nineteenth century Americans is shown in her collection of literary criticism, The Birth-Mark: Unsettling the Wilderness in American Literary History (1993), in which references to Anne Hutchinson, Mary Rowlandson, Cotton Mather, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Dickinson show her dedication to recapturing the pioneer and transcendental spirits that built the American character.