Fanny Howe. Photo: Cybele Knowles.
Our Winter issue features a poem by Fanny Howe, whose latest book, The Needle’s Eye, came out in October. At seventy-six, Howe has published sixteen books of poetry, fourteen works of fiction, and three collections of essays. On top of that, she’s a filmmaker—earlier this year, she debuted two new short films at a lecture called Acts of Mercy at the CUNY Graduate Center. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in an apartment she’s dubbed “the brick womb.” Her longtime friend William Corbett went to Boston to interview her about her life and work; an excerpt of this interview appears below. —The Editors
Samuel Beckett was your mother’s childhood friend. What were your encounters with him like?
My senior year in high school, my father sent me to France, my great dream. I was signed up for a French-immersion course just outside of Paris in Sèvres. I felt trapped and so, on the second night, I went out with my bag and the gardener helped me climb over the wall. I got to the train station and in to Paris. I had one name, Mr. Beckett and a phone number. I called him and he came right away and helped me find a cheap hotel. He looked after me and walked me around the city until a friend arrived, as planned, from America. Read More