Birkets, Sven. “Paul Muldoon.” In The Electric Life: Essays on Modern Poetry. New York: Morrow, 1989. An assessment of the poet’s relationship to his contemporaries on the international scene. Muldoon’s originality is identified and appreciated. The provision of a wider context for his work reveals its scope and interest. In particular, Muldoon’s distinctive verbal deftness receives attention.
Goodby, John. “’Armageddon, Armagh-geddon’: Language and Crisis in the Poetry of Paul Muldoon.” In Anglo-Irish and Irish Literature: Aspects of Language and Culture, edited by Birgit Bramsback and Martin Croghan. Uppsala, Sweden: Uppsala University Press, 1988. The title comes from Muldoon’s poetic sequence “Armageddon.” In using the name to pun on the poet’s birthplace, the author draws attention to Muldoon’s verbal dexterity. His dismantling and reassembling of language is reviewed. These practices are also related to Muldoon’s background.
_______. Irish Poetry Since 1950: From Stillness into History. New York: Manchester University Press, 2000. Puts Muldoon into the wider context of modern Irish poets. There are three subsections dealing with his development as a poet up until 2000.
Holdridge, Jefferson. The Poetry of Paul Muldoon. Dublin: Liffey Press, 2008. Introduces the general reader to some of the main critical discussion around Muldoon’s work. Looks particularly at his political stances and the links between suffering and creativity.
Kendall, Tim. Paul Muldoon. Bridgend, Wales: Seren, 1996. One of the first full-length studies of Muldoon with individual chapters on all the books up to and including The Annals of Chile. A sensible, intelligent reading of the poems in the context of his entire career.
Kendall, Tim, and Peter McDonald, eds. Paul Muldoon: Critical Essays. Liverpool, England: Liverpool University Press, 2003. A collection of essays by many experts on contemporary Irish poetry; it gives a rounded picture of Muldoon’s achievements.
Osborn, Andrew. “Skirmishes on the Border: The Evolution and Function of Paul Muldoon’s Fuzzy Rhyme.” Contemporary Literature 41 (Summer, 2000): 323-358. A study of Muldoon’s rhyme schemes and the semantic and strategic functions in his poetry.
Robinson, Peter. “Muldoon’s Humour.” In Politics and the Rhetoric of Poetry: Perspectives on Modern Anglo-Irish Poetry. Amsterdam: Rodolpi, 1995. The question of how to use humor in serious poems, and otherwise, is examined in the light of Muldoon’s reputation for wit.
Wills, Claire. Reading Paul Muldoon. Newcastle, England: Bloodaxe Books, 1998. Wills’s sensible comments are considerable help in clarifying Muldoon’s more difficult texts.