August 2000

Eamon Grennan


Eamon Grennan is from Dublin and lives and teaches in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., where he is the Dexter M. Ferry Jr. Professor of English at Vassar College. His poems, reviews, and critical essays have appeared in Cyphers, The Irish Times, Poetry Ireland Review, Poetry, The Nation, The New Yorker, Paris Review, Threepenny Review, Kenyon Review, and Yale Review. His volumes of poetry include Wildly for Days, What Light There Is, As If It Matters, So It Goes, and Relations: New & Selected Poems. His volume of translations, Leopardi: Selected Poems, received the 1997 PEN Award for Poetry in Translation. A collection of critical essays, Facing the Music: Irish Poetry in the Twentieth Century, appeared from Creighton University Press in 1999. 

Ben Howard: This is Ben Howard, and I'm speaking this morning with Eamon Grennan, the distinguished Irish poet, here in my home in Alfred, New York, where Eamon has come for a residency at Alfred University. Eamon Grennan has been described by his fellow poet John Montague as a "Celtic amphibian," at home both in Ireland and America. Born in Dublin in 1941, he is an Irish citizen who has lived for 30 years in the United States. He was educated at University College, Dublin, and Harvard University, and teaches English at Vassar College. His poems appear frequently in the New Yorker and in literary journals here and abroad. His four collections of poems, most recently, Relations: New and Selected Poems (Graywolf Press, l998), have been published in both Ireland and America.

Good morning, Eamon. I wonder if we might begin with your reading "Wing Road."

Eamon Grennan: Okay, I'll head right into it.

Click to hear in Real Audio Eamon Grennan reads "Wing Road"

BH: That poem seems to be very characteristic of your work. Would you agree with that?

EG: Yes. I think it has a few things that recur in me, things I'm kind of doing or ways I'm dealing with something. For one thing, I'm at a window, and, you know, a lot of the time I'm sort of at a window. I've often wondered why: why the window? One, it's the sense of being apart from an experience but part of it at the same time, you know. It's a kind of border between things: it's just the voyeur in me in some ways. For another thing—I taught this yesterday actually—it's a sort of framing device. The window is a frame; it contains, so the act of choosing and selecting and excluding have all been taken care of.

BH: By the window.

EG: Yes, by the window, by the frame. So I think it's there, and, then, other characteristic things are probably there. It's a very ordinary object, you know. It's one of the few poems, probably, about the bin men; right, I don't suppose there are too many garbage collector poems.

BH: I wanted to ask about that. Of course, Wing Road is where you live.

EG: That's right.

BH: This is a street in Poughkeepsie, New York, but "dustbin" is an Irish word.

EG: That's right.

BH: I wonder if you use that word intentionally. I was thinking of Seamus Heaney's remark that you should stay close to the energies of generation.

EG: Right. That's right.

BH: Heaney was speaking of one of his poems where he used the word "flax-dam." He said originally it would have been called a "lint-hole," but later he had to explain "flax-dam" anyway, so maybe he should have stayed close to the energies of generation and used the original term. I wondered about that with your usage.

EG: Yes. I mean I'm sure there is something like that. I wouldn't have formulated it so elegantly or eloquently, of course, but I think I used "dustbin" there because in another book, in "Incident," for example, I say "garbage can." In part, I think every choice you make has a whole set of tentacles attached to it. Right? When you're writing a poem, you don't know about them until after the fact.

When I look at the tentacles attached to "dustbin," I would say: One, it's a word that would come naturally to me. "Empty the dustbin" is what I would say. "Garbage can" is still a foreign word to me and "garbage collection," too. I mean, I think of them as the dustbin men because that was what I thought of them as a kid in Ireland. And then, I'm sure I'm using "dustbin" here because when I hear the line "young man who empties our dustbin," I'm hearing the sound of "young" and "dustbin," so that is a bit of assonance at play. I'm sure I used it because "young man who empties our garbage can" would not have pleased my ear, so the other came more naturally.

BH: You use assonance quite frequently.

EG: Yes. It's the old and probably Irish kind of nerve beating inside the verse, for me anyway. So I used "dustbin" for that, and then somebody decided I used it because "dustbin" has a slightly more eschatological, last-judgment kind of thing, and this is the last judgment, right; the thing is about the last judgment in some way as is the garbage collection, so "dust to dust" is evoked by dustbin [laughter].  So, in fact," dustbin" is a more interesting word than "garbage can" in a certain sense, because of its connotations.

BH: That also suggests, perhaps, a religious context...

EG: That's what I mean.

BH: ...which I notice elsewhere in the poem, particularly in the line "he takes the morning to his puffed chest," which is almost an echo of the line "takes the day to heart," in "Sunshine, Salvation, Drying Shirt."

EG: It's great to have a good reader. Yes, and I think the very fact that I use angel is the point here. And the whole thing became for me, as I looked out the window, a ritual act, and the ritual involved was collecting the souls, collecting the aftereffects of life in this kind of general judgment. Then I use words like "passage" and "blurred earth/and heaven."  I tried to charge the language of the description with something not overtly in it, not factually in it, and, therefore, kind of amplify it in some way. I think that's a characteristic of doing it, and then just calling the poem "Wing Road" was that, you know, was happy coincidence, and of course I live on One Wing Road, and I think, well, that's a definition of poetry, too.

BH: If we talk about the form of the poem, you've elsewhere said there is a phantom of blank verse in your poems. Do you think that's true in this one also?

EG: I absolutely do. Yes. It is free verse, obviously, but I really am using a strong, solid beat. I could metricise it if you like, and it is roughly blank verse lines, most of them are probably. So I suspect I'm using that. What I love about blank verse, Milton's and Frost's in particular, and Wordsworth's and Coleridge's in particular, is the kind of supple way it orchestrates the sentence, the way the lines move down a page into a sentence. I really worked hard at that; that was one of the technical things I was very interested in, orchestrating a sentence across the line and down the page. I think of the sentence and the line—you probably do yourself—in this way: the sentence is the purveyor of meaning and the line is the purveyor of pleasure, and you move between pleasure and meaning, the forward movement of the sentence towards meaning and the retarding movement of the line towards pleasure, towards music. So it's very sexual, too.

BH: It's a very sensuous medium, blank verse is.

EG: Yes, that's what I like, what I want it to be. Plus, if you think of it purely in, you know, politically incorrect terms, the sentence is male and the line is female, and it is the play between the two of them that leads to consummation.

BH: Or break-up, or something. Do you see any precedents in this poem in American poetry? One that occurs to me might be Elizabeth Bishop and her poem, "Filling Station," or other poems where she deals with something considered beneath the poetic...

EG: Absolutely. I think the whole American tradition, probably since Emerson, has dealt with the actual with the tinge of the mysterious, the other, the tinge of the spiritual, with all sorts of quotation marks around all those words, particularly in the case of Bishop, and I would have said James Wright was one of my first tutors in that, with "A Blessing," perhaps, as the obvious example.

BH: Or the late poems?

EG: Or the late poems. I love those poems very much, and they left their mark on me, and it's something I find a lot in Williams, in Bishop, Wright (Charles Wright); you find it in our contemporaries: Robert Hass, Mary Oliver, who is James Wright's adoptive daughter, you might say, in terms of the lineal poetic descent.

This sort of attitude I probably learned from two places: from going to school in a monastery, because, there, it was a kind of sacramental twitch built into your ways of seeing, and from American poetry, which I love.

BH: Could there be a third influence in Patrick Kavanagh, who saw "a strange beautiful light on the hills"?

EG: Absolutely. Kavanagh is the Irish locus of that particular impulse. The impulse that charges the stuff with electrical energies of the spirit but, at the same time, leaves them alone as, themselves, they have to be... what is it? "we must celebrate love's mystery without claptrap," "snatch out of time the passionate transitory," "this is what love does to things, the Rialto Bridge, the main gate was bent by a heavy lorry," all those things are charged. "Charged" is the word I like to use.

BH: So even though this poem is partly about judgment or the last day of judgment, it is also about celebration of the energies in things.

EG: I agree. That is nicely put. I don't want to erase the fact that these are guys on a lorry, a very heavy lorry, coming around at seven o'clock in the morning doing their work. I have a few poems about workers. The poem "Men Roofing" is another celebratory acknowledgement of a certain kind of work. I don't know if it sentimentalizes it, but it certainly tries to celebrate it by turning it into art, not so much deliberately, but charging the language used to describe it with a kind of ceremony.

BH: Again, I think of Elizabeth Bishop at the end of "The Fish."

EG: Absolutely. Or in a heap of other poems: at "The Bight," for example, the whole sense of active energies at work in the working world, like the guys at the fish houses, the fishermen, the glint off the scales.

BH: Let's turn now to "Kitchen Vision."

Click to hear in Real Audio Eamon Grennan reads "Kitchen Vision"

BH: This poem, like many of yours, seems very much to be centered in the present moment and to be bringing the mind and the body to the present moment, and I'm reminded of meditation, Buddhist meditation in particular. Your epigraph is "now I am here," and in another poem, you speak of the "dread here and now." Often your poems seem to have that quality. In Buddhist meditation it is referred to as shamatha and vipashyana or "stopping and looking."

EG: Very good, yes.

BH: And often when you stop to look, you also see the flux of things, and I see in many of these poems a sense of incipience, or something that is just about to happen, an edging toward something.

EG: Yes, I use that phrase a few times for something on the verge of happening.

BH: Something "edging into shape, about to happen."

EG: This is a lovely reading of something that I'd love to have people find in the poem. That's the nice thing there. Whatever I think about the meditation side, there is a kind of—as I think poetry is, art probably is—a paying of attention. You know, God only wants our attention, somebody says this. I believe that, and, well, the world wants our attention. That is the way we speak back to it, and it speaks to us. I think artists are listeners and perceivers, rather than just speakers. The speech, in this case, is a form of listening for what is there, or what you think is really there. So I think this poem is characteristic in that way. It also is domestic; it localizes that particular site of meditation not in the big world, but in the very small world.

BH: I think it integrates meditative practice with the actual world, living in the world.

EG: I think that's true. A poem is a little space, always—a little meditative space, isn't it? That is what I imagined it to be anyway. When I look at the poem, particularly by the light of what you've just said, I think the first three lines are the defining of it: "Here, in the kitchen making breakfast, doing something. I find…" "Find" is one of those lovely verbs, almost transitive and intransitive at the same time, because it suggests "accident," and it suggests "act." It is the act of finding, but "I find" means also "this happens to me," so I suspect that that verb—I used it instinctively, but I think it does—actually characterizes something very specific in what I'm about, which is that mixture of stumbling over and acknowledging at the same time as shaping; then, "come to light" is one of those cliché phrases, used probably too much, but "come to light" means revelation, but it's the use of the ordinary locution.

BH: Well, it reminds me here and in "Wing Road" of Thomas Traherne and his Centuries of Meditation.

EG: Oh that's lovely, Godalmighty, I'd love to be reminded of Thomas Traherne. I love Traherne deeply. I wish I could quote a stanza right now. The other stanza you mention was Herbert, and Herbert, I probably know better than I know Traherene: "Now I am here, what thou wilt do with me/None of my books can show...I weep and cry." He talks about becoming a tree, so some bird could "trust her household to me, and I would be just." But it begins "now I am here;" that really is a kind of tuning fork for me.

BH: It would be called, in Buddhist teachings, a bell of mindfulness. It's the bell that calls you back to the present moment.

EG: The bell that calls you back, yes. Like poor old Keats's bell which is only the word "forlorn," tolling.

BH: Speaking more of Irish influences, "the daily ineluctable clutter of our lives" reminds me of Joyce's "ineluctable"...

EG: [laughter] Right.

BH: It's like the word "ceremony" and you think of Yeats.

EG: Exactly. It's funny isn't it? He used it, and a word is taken out of circulation by a great artist. You cannot use it unless it has a tiny shimmer, acknowledged, that that is there. And I thought, Yes, that is what Joyce is all about: the ineluctable clutter. I mean the ineluctable modality of the visible. I liked to use that big Latin word, with its Joycean kind of connection, for the likes of yourself and others like you. I like to use it with something like "clutter of our lives," with clutter—"ineluctable clutter." I like the sound of that.

BH: It's the assonance again.

EG: That's it. And I might have found the phrase right off, or I might have worked to find it, but certainly the Joyce is there. I suspect, too, I'm talking about other poems, other poets. Again, Bishop who makes out of the ordinary the shaped in some way, and in this case not a window; I don't have a window, I have this kettle—I was going to call the poem "Self-portrait in a convex kettle."

BH: You make a kind of allusion here to Dutch interior art. A couple things I might ask about that. One is it seems to me unusual that you do allude, because very often you seem to avoid allusion or you use it very sparingly. And the other is that you allude to the visual arts as opposed to the literary arts. And I'm wondering about your use of allusion or non-use of it. Do you want to comment on that?

EG: Well, in this poem I allude carefully because it seemed that what I was finally doing was trying to compose my own wee still life of a domestic kind, and I thought, well, I'd better allow for the fact that I know what I'm doing here, that, in fact, I'm doing that. And secondly, I love the degree to which Jan Steen and Vermeer and de Hooch, in particular, offer themselves up as great models of the way art handles the ordinary, and that, to me, is, of course, the sort of ground, the base of most of the stuff I do. That sounds fancy, but what I really mean is that's the kind of stuff that attracts and moves me, and, in them, I find the most elaborate and the most convincing and the most complete version of that particular activity, namely the taking of the ordinary and the finding something in it.

BH: So the allusion here is a kind of scrupulosity.

EG: I think that's true. Also, I liked the notion that I was going to remind people that that is what I was doing, in case they didn't get it, as it were, and also to invoke great names, particularly the name of Vermeer, because I was trying to say something there about what art does, fixed in place and "luminous in ordinary light," the two uses of light there. Painters like Steen and Vermeer are the locus classicus of it for me, yet they are painters, not literary. I don't have all that many literary allusions, though "ineluctable" was one.

BH: Well, the other part of my question would be that this is an allusion to the visual arts as opposed to the literary arts, and I wondered if in Irish or American or English poetry you see a precedent for this kind of poem which focuses on the ordinary and illuminates it.

EG: Yes, I would say Kavanagh right away, and I would say Bishop and Wright right away; those would be my three mantra-like…they do it, no question. I think somebody like Creeley does it too, somebody like Snyder, and Williams, but Kavanagh in the Irish tradition, absolutely. But the way you deal with influence—it's nourishment, of a kind most of the time you're digesting, and it's turning into the fibers of your own body. That's what one wants to have happen with one's literary allusions.

BH: I'm also thinking of the monastic poems, the early monastic poems of Irish literature, and the immediacy and directness of those, sometimes dealing, you know, with a cat who happens to be nearby.

EG: Yes, absolutely. I'd want to feel somehow that, in my own blood, there's some sort of tiny piece of DNA going all the way back; plus, the fact that I was educated in a monastery probably doesn't go amiss. I mean, you don't want to make too much of this because it's kind of sentimental to make too much of such connections, self-aggrandizing, but I love what the monks are doing, in part you know where they wrote their poems? In the margins, you know, literally, in the margins of the great books. So, on the one hand, you have this angelic stuff and, on the other, you have a man saying "my hand is weary," or "sunlight falls on my hand," or "what a gorgeous day it is. Do you hear the blackbird?" in Irish, so you get the conjunction of the ceremonial Latin and the Irish domestic in an almost physical sense.

BH: Speaking of monks, we might turn to "Sunshine, Salvation, and the Drying Shirt," because you have a monk in that poem.

EG: There is. Yes, I give the game away in there.I'd be interested in what you have going on when you read that poem.

BH: This poem reminded me of a description you made of yourself as having a post-Catholic sensibility? Is that applicable here?

EG: Well, here I am in this kind of meditative pose, and I'm trying to marry Hopkins, the modern Jesuit, the 8th-century or 9th-century Irish monk, anguished as he is, and Basho the Zen practitioner, and I'm trying to bring these together in little me, sitting outside in the sunshine having a kind of rest. So I suppose there is something "post-Catholic" about the eclectic nature of what I'm trying to do there. By "post-Catholic" I mean somebody who is conscious of absence in a way, and it's an absence with a halo around it. That's what "post-Catholic" means to me. I used the phrase first in an essay on McGahern. I find it in Heaney and in Kavanagh. I feel that's my version of something that I find in American poetry, that is, poems about the tinge of the spiritual at the edge of the ordinary. That's how I bring these things together in my own kind of consciousness, and I think this poem, which grew gradually and is just a meditation, I started to see as an attempt to actually write the ars poetica of that condition. This is a poem in which I would be more or less straight out about things that, in other poems, are absorbed or distributed in a covert or non-explicit way.

BH: Well, I notice one phrase, "making a holy show of itself." It reminded me of Philip Larkin and his "Church Going": "up at the holy end."  The tone of it is somewhat ironic, somewhat secular, but respectful or reverential at the same time.

EG: Well, anybody who is writing is eager to find the play of language, the play in language, and one of the things I like to do is to revive the cliché, make love to the dead metaphor. And "holy show" is a real Irish phrase, a real colloquial phrase about someone making a spectacle of himself, but it has that nice—it's just accidental—that nice element in the language which offers me something that is applicable and, at the same time, light-fingered .

BH: But distancing also.

EG: Yes. First, there is the phrase, "so I could spot/when the bird tilted—silhouetting itself—the crucifix/the poet must have seen, a sign bringing Christ/into the picture, causing the creature to buckle and/give off blood and fire, making a holy show of itself." I have Hopkins's windhover in mind, obviously, and I'd seen what I thought was a great discovery for me: Why does he dedicate this poem to Christ our Lord when it's a poem about this hawk? And then I was watching a windhover, and I saw what Hopkins saw. I'm convinced that when the bird tilted, it made a cross, a crucifix, and that's where Christ got into the picture. "Making a holy show of itself" is my memory of what the bird is doing, where, for Hopkins, it's literally making a "holy show" of itself. For me, this phrase is much more dismissive, not as full of faith; there is no way I could dedicate this poem to Christ our Lord. There is no sense in which that believer's posture or condition is part of this poem. It is a poem that recognizes process; it sees that what Hopkins saw and took account of but couldn't deal with was the fact that what we are in the presence of here is Darwinian violence: the hawk takes whatever it is going to take. And I've written another poem about a hawk which is about that, about the killing aspect of it, so the "holy show" is a way of acknowledging the violence in my idiom, which is not the idiom of rapture and belief, as it is in Hopkins's case.

BH: Another element in this is the drying shirt and the laundry. And if there is another poem lurking behind this, beyond "The Windhover," it might be Richard Wilbur's "Love Calls Us..."

EG: I agree. One of my holy poems—one does have these...what Arnold would call touchstones—"Love Calls Us to the Things of this World" is the great laundry poem, and I've a heap of laundry stuff. What's that poem called? "Soul Music: The Derry Air." That poem has a whole heap of laundry in it, and laundry, for me, always has a slightly religious connotation, you know, in the sense that we find the outer garment hung out to dry in a way that is, once again, as distinct from the Wing Road dustbin men, another version of the judgment, but the more purified version.

BH: It sounds like you also might have Carlyle and Swift in your genes.

EG: [laughter] Well, you better go on. You explain that one.

BH: Well, I was thinking of Sartor Resartus or going back to Swift's view of the exterior and the interior in "Digression Concerning Madness" and the way he plays with that.

EG: There is an element of that and, again, I think I'm playing with it, but drying laundry always goes back to two things: it has the eschatological aspect for me; it's just an image that seems to resonate with some stuff that I got in my blood from being a Catholic, but it also goes back to a deep need to write a poem about laundry for my mother because one of my earliest memories—one of those little childhood epiphanies—is standing underneath her, and she's tall and I'm small and I'm handing her up the clothes for her to hang on the washing line in Clareville Road, in that home in Dublin. So I think that's a kind of ur-moment for all the laundry allusions that I have in any poems.

BH: Including "Laundromat?"

EG: Including "Laundromat." Well, "Laundromat," of course, is about the break-up of a relationship in some way, but it is also about the drying of the clothes, but in a mechanical way.

BH: You spoke about listening. I'm wondering how much your poems listen to each other across time. For instance, you have a line in the last stanza here "my white shirt is all puffed up," which is almost the phrase you use to describe the garbage man.

EG: Yes, that's very good. I use that white shirt in another poem called "Wet Morning, Clareville Road," and there, it's the white shirt flying "beyond its own ambition," I think, is the phrase I use. Anyway, it's the shirt being flung off, as if one is about to make love. The shirt becomes airborne, as a kind of image of the body. So, on the one hand, it's kind of erotic, but, here, it is all puffed up. It is that sense of playful, I suppose, excess that I'm interested in as a connection with the religious in some way.

BH: The erotic element of your poems seem to be overlooked, often, by readers of your work.

EG: Well, thank God for that. A lot of people talk about the domestic and the natural in the work I do, those that do talk about it. And that is fine, I mean that is clearly there. But you can't have poems, you can't have art, without the erotic, it seems to me, and the nerve that is often pushing the narrative, whether covert or overt, is an erotic nerve. In my case, even. I liked when Ruth Stone came to give a reading and said, "Oh, I just saw a poem of yours I loved. Will you read it?" It was actually "Men Roofing," and then she stood back from me and she said, "God, that's so sexy." I was just delighted that she felt that, because it is the erotic nerve running through things—the sexual nerve running through things—that, of course, is the life force.

BH: With that connection we might talk about one more poem, "Oasis."

Click to hear in Real Audio Eamon Grennan reads "Oasis"

EG: That is the last poem in the book, and I think it was deliberately the last poem of the book because I wanted the last word in the book to be "the one good word." I knew ultimately, you know the way you are shaping a book, you want closure of a certain kind, and all my books attempt that anyway, and this I wanted as the end of that whole trajectory from the very beginning.

BH: Partly because of that very resonant ending, and the book's ending with the word word, I thought of this poem initially in more of a spiritual context.

EG: I can see why, as I read it, absolutely, I know what's inside of it which I clearly didn't want to make explicit.

BH: Others have read it and seen much more of a sexual metaphor.

EG: Yes, and that is what I mean by not wanting to make that explicit. The fact of the matter is, and this is not…biographically that is my own business…the poem actually comes from a photograph, a scene of a North African oasis. It was a set of photographs, a show of photographs I saw, and I connected with someone and connected with a certain condition, which is a state of love, and "oasis" became metaphorical for a good many things. I'm talking in circles, but you know what I'm talking about, basically, of a love that has its own particular containment. An oasis seemed the metaphor for that. And I saw the photograph and the photograph was connected in many ways and that struck me and I started to write, and this poem was quite narrative. It had a lot about another person in there in terms of a narrative, again, a fiction, and linear stuff. But in the end I thought, No, that what this poem is about is the experience of spirit and of the erotic in one image, and it is the image of water, the way that water is both physical and symbolic and a kind of spiritual source. I was trying to get all of that stuff in at the same time, making it as sensuous as possible.

BH: Is it also about the inadequacy of language, or the limitations of language.

EG: Very good, yes. It is, yes, and it is also about the limitations on love, I suspect. "As if" seems to me to be the important phrase, in the last [stanza], and the subjunctive mood or whatever mood that is.

BH: You speak of the "saturated radiance/we came from" at the end,  and elsewhere you speak of your work itself as being both "saturated and buoyant." Is there a connection there?

EG: That is interesting. "Saturated and buoyant," is that what I'm saying? Yes, I think so, but I love the phrase. I don't know how I found the phrase "saturated radiance." It is a nice phrase in that sense that it occupies the self in a totally double way. "Saturated" is a real sense of heaviness, and "radiance" is, of course, things letting off, breaking free. And I guess that is, in the end, what I wanted to say about the body in love and about the condition of the spirit in the body, too. I mean I wanted to make that connection as best I could without being too heavy about it. The saturated radiance we came from—I have another poem called "At the Falls" in which I meditate on water again, so you were talking about poems speaking to one another, and I think they do. You don't intend that, but I think you're one psyche out of which comes an enormous amount of scattered stuff, but it has its locus and its source in you so…and I talked about water as our source in a poem in a much more biological sense. In this case I'm tingeing it with something else, with the spirit, you know.

BH: Well, if we can make a full circle here as we come to an end, you do also refer to "the last gasp of home" here. Of course the first poem you talked about, "Wing Road," was an image of home, at least your home here in America. Do these poems speak across to each other?

EG: I suspect they do. In the first poem, I'm rooted in that spot looking out at something that happens, and I name it "Wing Road," and that is a kind of home place. And I have a poem called "Wet Morning, Clareville Road"— I like to name places as Kavanagh does—and "the last gasp of home," I didn't know what I meant there, I mean, something about an oasis as a stopping place, enroute from, or enroute to, but, in this case, it was the last gasp of home, as if something in this stopping place was, itself, a provisional home and, therefore, the last gasp of home, reminiscent of, but provisional.

Ben Howard's latest book is Midcentury (Salmon, 1997).  The Holy Alls: Poems 1994-1997 will be published by Salmon later this year. Howard's poems have been published in Poetry, Chelsea, Shenandoah, Sewanee Review, and Seneca Review.  An essay entitled "Humane Letters" appears in the Iowa Review



Eamon Grennan: Interview
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