Join us for a reading that celebrates the launch of Christopher Howell’s new collection Love’s Last Number (Milkweed, 2017).
Praise for Howell’s Love’s Last Number:
In these offerings, one could easily argue that we are quietly drawn into an entire book of war poems, demonstrating the abidingly cruel relationship between human beings and the inexorable. It is a circumstance so quietly and powerfully vivified time and again: “The soldiers are through listening / and after a while the tea is cold.” These poems give rise to so much emotion it can barely be contained, defining us all—and this book—as small but incredibly necessary lights amidst a great, historic and personal wall of so much—‘the pneuma of hope’s tiny bells.’” –Alberto Rios
“Christopher Howell is our own prophet-seer. He knows the numbers of infinite angels dancing on infinite pins. He knows the stars within the stars within the stars within the skulls. He knows this wrong and shining world the way a boy comes to know it when forced by a teacher to write ‘Dreaming makes one stupid’ over and over on a chalkboard, when he knows already that dreaming is the god that makes us free. These poems are great gifts. They contain the wisdoms. our fathers would say to us after they are dead and gone. These poems are necessary. They are essential.” —John Hodgen
“In these gemlike meditations on love and time and the human condition—and so much more—Christopher Howell’s vision is nearly mystical, his music is almost entirely uncanny. To read these pieces is to experience what Owen Barfield called the ‘felt change of consciousness,’ or poetry pursuing poetry’s highest calling. His poetry alters the way we might view our brief time here on Earth, by expanding it, by giving us glimpses into the secrets of existence itself, by making meaning. But, of course, because he is such a gifted poet, Howell approaches this enormous task through the senses, via the small things, and in language that’s both mesmerizing and plainspoken. There is a distance in this tone that is all about clarity, and a proximity that is all about intimacy, humility. This is a book you’ll read in a sitting, and then return to all your life.” —Laura Kasischke
Christopher Howell has published ten collections of poems, most recently Gaze and Love’s Last Number. His poems, translations, and essays have been widely published in anthologies and journals, including Harper’s, Gettysburg Review, Denver Quarterly, and Antioch Review. The recipient of three Pushcart Prizes, he has also received multiple fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Washington Artist Trust, the Oregon Arts Commission, and the Massachusetts Cultural Council. He has also been awarded the Helen Bullis, Vachel Lindsay, and Vi Gale prizes, the Washington State Governor’s Prize for Literature, the Washington State Book Award, and the Stanley W. Lindberg Award for Editorial Excellence. A native of the Northwest, Howell was a military journalist during the Vietnam War and later received an MA from Portland State University and an MFA from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. He now teaches at Eastern Washington University, where he is also director of Willow Springs Books as well as director and principal editor for Lynx House Press.