Fanny Howe and Linda Norton, reading and in conversation

Wednesday, February 17 - 4:00 pm PST
Remote access event
color photos of poets Fanny Howe + Linda Norton

Watch the unedited video at YouTube before the finished program gets posted at Poetry Center Digital Archive

With emcee, Norma Cole

Supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts

This remote-access event starts promptly at 4:00 pm Pacific Time, and is free and open to the public. Real-Time Captioning is available at our YouTube channel (with Media Captioning provided after the event, at Poetry Center Digital Archive); for other reasonable accommodations please contact

Please note early start time, to accommodate our East Coast guest and audience.

Fanny Howe returns to The Poetry Center, reading together with her good friend Linda Norton. They’ll each be presenting recent writings—Howe’s latest book is Night Philosophy (Divided Publishing, Brussels, 2020), scanning across years of short work “collected around the figure of the child.” Norton’s remarkable second book is Wite Out: Love and Work (Hanging Loose Press, 2020), a “memoir with poems” that, in the words of reviewer Marcella Durand, works “to investigate white supremacy and apprehend whiteness, particularly on the complicated micro levels of human relationships.” The poets will be joined in conversation by poet and translator Norma Cole, as emcee, and respond to questions from the audience.

  • "This book is a prism through which Earth's ancient songs and tales are distilled; restored to light. It is also a manual for surviving evil. The most important thing for you to understand is that Fanny Howe is a rebel, down to the cellular level. She walks with the prophets and with the unborn. There is no writer like her."
    —Ariana Reines, on Night Philosophy
  • "Fanny Howe is simply one of the best and most innovative writers alive."
    —Dawn Lundy Martin

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 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. More recently, Night Philosophy (Divided Publishing, Brussels, 2020) scans across years of short work "collected around the figure of the child..., not just as a little person under the tutelage of adults, but also the submerged one, who knows, and who is without power, who doesn't matter. The book proposes a minor politics that disperses all concentrations of power." After years in California, teaching at UC San Diego, Fanny Howe lives in New England.

  • "Reading Wite Out also made me wonder where that missing letter went? What did it stand for and what was crouching in the lean-to of its variously broken loop? Horror? Responsibility? It’s just that how to take responsibility for horror has always seemed impossible because it means approaching the mass that assures annihilation. Whiteness is a black hole in this regard, but Linda Norton braves its event horizon, its point of no return, giving us leave to let go absolution to abolish, and fray the singularity to survive into some other dance we’ve been dancing, but denying, all along. In the proliferation of such release, we might hold on."
    —Fred Moten

Linda Norton is the author of Wite Out: Love and Work (2020), a memoir with poems, and its prequel, The Public Gardens: Poems and History (2011; introduction by Fanny Howe), a finalist for a Los Angeles Times Book Prize. She was born in Boston and lived in Brooklyn for many years before moving to California. She lives in Oakland, where she raised her daughter and met her foster son, who are the heart and soul of Wite Out, a book John Keene calls a “masterpiece” and Norman Fischer calls “a gorgeous, courageous book.” She was a 2020 columnist-in-residence at SFMOMA’s Open Space; you can read her five essays and see her collages and photographs here, and find her blog here.


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The Poetry Center
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The Poetry Center