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The moral life, Marie Howe says, is lived out in what we say as much as what we do. She became known for her poetry collection "What the Living Do," about her brother’s death at 28 from AIDS. Now she has a new book, "Magdalene." Poetry is her exuberant and open-hearted way into the words and the silences we live by. She works and plays with a Catholic upbringing, the universal drama of family, the ordinary rituals that sustain us — and how language, again and again, has a power to save us.

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