Christopher Howell : The Grief of a Happy Life

Christopher Howell

Poetry Reading & Signing

The Grief of a Happy Life

Thursday, April 9th @ 7pm

Praise for Christopher Howell’s Work:

"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 Kasischky

"The Grief of a Happy Life feels and reads like a gift. Each healing song takes lyrical twists and turns and arrives at an abiding truth—a blessed ransom paid to soil and sky, body and soul, to the Earth. These summons spring out of a quest and need, going back to Gilgamesh and Heraclitus, traveling on to moments of joy and wonderment, to praises and elegies, to vows that seethe into atonement, along with everyday names daring to anchor lives fully lived….Every vowel is weighed, every leap earned, and the sway of hope drives the natural music of a worthwhile journey."  — Yusef Komunyakaa


"Howell has been for many years my go-to poet of choice when I need to be reminded of what poems can do, what a poetry collection can do, and just how the mind needs to bend so that memorable, poetic language takes its place ahead of everyday speech. Here I find Howell’s usual gifts for elegy, for the pastoral, for humor and a light-handed lyricism. I cherish his presence in the ever-growing world of our strange craft."  — Kathy Fagan


"The Grief of a Happy Life ought to command prize-winning critical attention—it’s that good. Though art is not a competition, this book shows Howell as perhaps our finest active poet in the Pacific Northwest, and one of the finest nationally."  — Lex Runciman


Event date: 
Thursday, April 9, 2020 - 7:00pm to 8:30pm
Event address: 
220 N Higgins Ave.
Missoula, MT 59802-4435
The Grief of a Happy Life (Pacific Northwest Poetry) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780295746166
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: University of Washington Press - October 2nd, 2019