"Richard Howard is an indispensable, unique poet, whose work instructs by delighting, and delights by instructing . . . he is Browning's authentic heir at rendering the inner voices of the cultural past and present."--Harold Bloom
In a recent conversation with Priscilla Becker, published by the Poetry Society of America, Richard Howard commented on his many personae:
"I don't like direct self-expression. All the work that I do is some kind of invocation or transaction with others, whether it's criticism, translation, or poetry. There are poems that are direct self-expression, but certainly, with some sense of preference, there is an enterprise which involves speaking through a mask, a persona. That's what the word means: sounding through--"sonans per"--and I like the idea of the mask or the masks, because I'm more interested in the dialogue of others than in merely the dialogue with another--the dialogue of others who are out there, who are not me."
Hannah Arendt, George Eliot, Cosima Wagner, and a boy in a photograph by Arkansas photographer Mike Disfarmer are among the speakers in "The Silent Treatment."
Richard Howard is a poet, scholar, teacher, translator, and critic. He is the author of more than a dozen books, including most recently "Paper Trail: Selected Prose 1965-2003," shortlisted for a National Book Critics Circle Award, and "Inner Voices: Selected Poems, 1963-2003." He has won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the Lambda Literary Award, and the Robert Frost Medal.