In “The Space Between," poet Marie Howe shares three of her poems and speaks with Zen teachers Robert Chodo Campbell and Koshin Paley Ellison about caregiving, writing, and how the death of her brother John impacted her poetry. Following John’s death, Howe found a new voice in the midst of her grief. “I was given this place to be without any expectations,” she says. “And everything changed so that the particulars of life—this white dish, the shadow of the bottle on it—everything mattered so much more to me. And I saw what happened in these spaces. You can never even say what happened, because what happened is rarely said, but it occurs among the glasses with water and lemon in them.”
Author of three volumes of poetry—The Good Thief, What the Living Do, and The Kingdom of Ordinary Time—Howe is also coeditor of a book of essays, In the Company of My Solitude: American Writing from the AIDS Pandemic. In 2012 she was named poet laureate of New York State. She teaches writing at Sarah Lawrence College, Columbia University, and New York University.
Bill Armstrong’s artwork, which appears alongside Pema Chödrön’s piece “Meditating with Emotions,” is taken from his series Film Noir, part of the larger Infinity series—a body of work that the New York–based photographer began in 1997. To achieve the blurred, abstract effect of his images, Armstrong re-photographs his original photos out of focus, setting his camera’s focusing ring at infinity. “My unique process of appropriating images and subjecting them to a series of manipulations—photocopying, cutting, painting, re-photographing—transforms the originals and gives them a new meaning in a new context,” he says of his work. “This sleight of hand allows me to conjure a mysterious trompe l’oeil world that hovers between the real and the fantastic.”
The Buddha figure that appears on the cover was printed on the Replicator 2, a 3D printer designed by the Brooklyn-based company MakerBot. The Replicator 2 prints precise physical objects by heating compostable bioplastics that harden on impact and layering them to build up an image in space. The Buddha, a gift from a board member, sits on the Tricycle office windowsill, overlooking Madison Square Park in New York City.