New York

Continuing his support of New York's rich literary tradition, Governor Cuomo appointed Marie Howe as the state poet laureate on August 29, 2012. Throughout her two-year two year term, the poet laureate promotes and encourages poetry writing throughout New York by giving public readings and talks within the state.

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Marie Howe
New York poet laureate

Marie Howe

Marie Howe was born in 1950 in Rochester, New York. She worked as a newspaper reporter and teacher before receiving her MFA from Columbia University...

poems

poem
Under the separated leaves of shade
Of the gingko, that old tree
That has existed essentially unchanged
Longer than any other living tree, 
I walk behind a woman. Her hair's coarse gold
Is spun from the sunlight that it rides upon.
Women were paid to knit from sweet champagne
Her second skin: it winds and
poem
Droning a drowsy syncopated tune,
Rocking back and forth to a mellow croon,
     I heard a Negro play.
Down on Lenox Avenue the other night
By the pale dull pallor of an old gas light
     He did a lazy sway . . .
     He did a lazy sway . . .
To the tune o' those Weary Blues.
With his ebony hands on each ivory
poem
Under Grand Central's tattered vault
  —maybe half a dozen electric stars still lit—
    one saxophone blew, and a sheer black scrim

billowed over some minor constellation
  under repair. Then, on Broadway, red wings
    in a storefront tableau, lustrous, the live macaws

preening, beaks opening and closing