This Tuesday, at our annual Spring Revel, The Paris Review will honor Richard Howard with our lifetime-achievement award, the Hadada, for a strong and unique contribution to literature. Long esteemed among poets for his verve and intellect, Howard received the 1970 Pulitzer Prize in poetry and was a finalist for the National Book Award seven times. His translations from the French helped introduce contemporary masters, such as Roland Barthes and Michel Leiris, to American readers and breathed new life into classics like The Charterhouse of Parma; his translation of Charles Baudelaire’s Les fleurs du mal won the 1983 National Book Award. He’s the author of sixteen collections and three books of essays; his translations number in the dozens.
But Howard has also had a distinguished career as a nurturer of young poets. From 1989 to 2011, he was the poetry editor of the Western Humanities Review, during which time he also held the same station at The Paris Review, from 1992 to 2005. As a teacher, he’s influenced several generations of poets. We invited friends of the Review to share their stories of Howard—of working with him, learning from him, and, in several cases, surveying his elaborately decorated bathroom, adorned with the photos of dozens of poets. A portrait began to emerge: of a curious, polymathic reader; a generous mentor; and a zealous, sure-footed practitioner of his form. Read More