Susan Howe, ‘Untitled (from Tom Tit Tot)’, 2013, Whitney Biennial 2014

Collection of the artist

About Susan Howe

Among America’s foremost poets, Susan Howe has been sculpting language since the early 1970s, approaching words as physical, visual things to produce verse whose meaning is inextricable from the look of the text on the page. As she explains: “I’ve never really lost the sense that words, even single letters, are images. The look of a word is part of its meaning—the meaning that escapes dictionary definition, or rather doesn’t escape but is bound up with it.” This aesthetic regard for words stems from her training as a painter and her early experience making art in the fertile, interdisciplinary milieu of New York in the 1960s. Deeply inspired by the Minimalists and Marcel Duchamp, Howe explores history in all its nuance in inter-textual poems featuring overlapping, upside-down, crossed-out, underlined, and unevenly spaced words—objects to be seen and read

American, b. 1937, Boston, Massachusetts, based in Guilford, California