Richard Howard, “Ronald Firbank and the Powers of Frivolity”
Richard Howard, the well-known translator, poet, and critic, is Professor of Professional Practice in Columbia's graduate Writing Division. He is the author of many books of poetry, including Untitled Subjects (1969), Trappings (1999), Talking Cures (2002), and most recently Without Saying, as well as the critical study Alone with America. His Inner Voices: Selected Poems, 1963-2003 and Paper Trail: Selected Prose, 1965-2003 were compiled and released jointly by Farrar, Straus and Giroux in 2004. He has published over 150 translations, including works by Cioran, Stendhal, and Roland Barthes; in 1983 he received the American Book Award for his translation of Baudelaire's Fleurs du mal. In 1970 he was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for his third book of poems, and received the Academy of Arts and Letters Literary Award. In 1996 he received a MacArthur Fellowship. He has also received the PEN Translation Medal and the French-American Prize and was designated a Chevalier de L'Ordre National du Mérite by the French government in 1982. A member of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters since 1983, he has served as the Poet Laureate of New York State (1994-1997) and the President of PEN American Center (1978-1980).