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Book Title

On the Ground

Author 1
Fanny Howe
My father was a soldier
who was smaller than my son

when he returned as a ghost.

I begged him to stay with us
but he said: "Not until you come to life."
—from "[Untitled]"

Fanny Howe's bold new collection responds to the contrast between American imperialist goals and the realities of life lived "on the ground." While our minds are preoccupied with the war games on television, we go on living among our ordinary joys and appetites. How can we live under these dissonant conditions and reconcile our existence with our longings?

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5 1/4 x 8 1/2
A spiritually resonant and politically urgent new collection by the winner of the Lenore Marshall poetry prize

About the Author

Fanny  Howe
Credit: Lynn Christoffers
Fanny Howe is the author of more than thirty works of poetry and prose, including Love and IThe Needle's Eye, Come and See, and The Winter Sun. Her most recent poetry collection, Second Childhood, was a finalist for the National Book Award, and her fiction has been honored as a finalist for the Man Booker International Prize. She lives in New England.
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  • “Simultaneously tender, political, lyrical and global in scope.”—Publishers Weekly
  • “Fanny Howe employs a sometimes fierce, always passionate, spareness in her lifelong parsing of the exchange between matter and spirit. Her work displays as well a political urgency, that is to say, a profound concern for social justice and for the soundness and fate of the polis, the ‘city on a hill.’ Writes Emerson, ‘The poet is the sayer, the namer, and represents beauty.’ Here’s the luminous and incontrovertible proof.”—Michael Palmer
  • “In Fanny Howe’s economics of language, similes just won’t do because they produce an unreal world where the poor don’t exist, a place that allows us to think of ‘Utah as if it was Saudi Arabia or Pakistan.’ If Camp X-Ray at Guatanamo Bay is a grotesque stand-in for the present and future of ‘security’ clamed without justice, Fanny Howe turns her own x-ray vision to the things of this world and the constant presence of death beyond a deer stopped in its tracks, London’s chill, the fragility of skin, or the ‘rape robe of war’ that shrouds us all to differing degrees.”—Ammiel Alcalay
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