Booklist. Review of The Walls of Thebes. October, 1986. Discusses life and art (“the cruel injustices of the former and the inadequate consolations of the latter”) as the themes of Slavitt’s book. Praises the volume as touching while noting that it is also “often troubling.”
Garrett, George. “David Slavitt.” In American Poets Since World War II, edited by James E. Kibler, Jr. Vol. 5 in Dictionary of Literary Biography. Detroit, Mich.: Gale, 1980. Thorough outline of Slavitt’s career.
_______. My Silk Purse and Yours. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1992. Discusses Slavitt’s career in depth as an aspect of the contemporary publishing scene.
Kaganoff, Penny. Review of Eight Longer Poems. Publishers Weekly 237 (March 30, 1990): 56. Praises Slavitt’s “inventiveness and proficient manipulation of language” while alleging his “excessive” references to “blood” and “wounds.” Also discusses Slavitt’s effort to transform “personal suffering into universal circumstance.”
O’Neil, Paul. “Calculating Poet Behind a Very Gamy Book.” Life 64 (January 26, 1968): 64-68. A contemporaneous look at the revelation of Henry Sutton’s identity.
Slavitt, David. Interview by George Garrett and John Graham. In The Writer’s Voice: Conversations with Contemporary Writers, edited by Garrett. New York: Morrow, 1973. This interview is often cited for its reliable insights into Slavitt’s broad range of interests as a writer of fiction, poetry, and essays. It highlights many of his adjustments that follow his translations of Vergil.
_______. Re Verse Essays on Poetry and Poets. Evanston, Ill.: Northwestern University Press, 2009. Slavitt, in this collection of essays, discusses the life of poetry and his engagements with other poets and their works. A readable work, full of insight.
Taylor, Henry. “The Fun of the End of the World: David R. Slavitt’s Poems.” Virginia Quarterly Review 66, no. 2 (Spring, 1990): 210-248. Taylor’s comprehensive overview explores Slavitt’s wit, erudition, and “neoclassical attention to form.” Slavitt’s tonal variety and his ability to take successful risks in tonal shifts are hallmarks of his technical mastery. His narratives transform their historical materials, revealing the repeated bad news of history, including failed relationships and diminished love, in delightfully inspiring art.
Wheelock, John Hall. “Introductory Essay: Man’s Struggle to Understand.” In Poets of Today VII, edited by Wheelock. New York: Scribner, 1960. This is the introduction to Slavitt’s first full collection of poems. Identifies themes and techniques used by the young Slavitt—an identification remarkable for its continuing applicability.