Bergman, David. Gaiety Transfigured: Gay Self-Representation in American Literature. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1991. Bergman devotes a chapter to the poetry of Walt Whitman, John Ashbery, and Howard, tracing their ideas of selfhood in their poetry and connecting these ideas to their homosexuality. The remaining nine chapters of this book establish the context in which gay writers express their sexuality.
Howard, Richard. “The Art of Poetry.” Interview by J. D. McClatchy. Paris Review, no. 169 (Spring, 2004): 174-201. An extensive twenty-eight page interview of Howard at his small apartment in Greenwich Village, New York City, in which he discusses his life and works.
Howard, Richard, and Marilyn Hacker. “The Education of a Poet: A Colloquy with Richard Howard and Marilyn Hacker.” Interview. Antioch Review 58 (Summer, 2000): 261. Howard and Hacker stress the need for beginning poets to read literature, especially that of other poets. Howard’s comments include some useful autobiographical information not found elsewhere.
Longenbach, James. “Richard Howard’s Modern World.” Salmagundi, no. 108 (Fall, 1995): 141-163. Longenbach’s lengthy examination focuses on the themes of loss and recovery in Howard’s poetry and on the distinction between the intimate self and the poet’s private life. Argues that Howard has sought to blur the line between the personal and the impersonal in his poetry.
_______. “Sex and Style in Contemporary American Poetry.” Raritan 19, no. 4 (Spring, 2000): 7-22. Longenbach argues that poetic style does not necessarily reflect the poet’s sexuality, and he defends Howard’s poetry against the charge that it is too prettified. Asserts that cultural expectations see the plain style as “manly” and the decorative style as “ladylike,” but the work of several modern poets shows that the poet’s sexuality need not determine the poet’s style.
Martin, Robert K. The Homosexual Tradition in American Poetry. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 1998. Martin’s survey of gay-themed poetry from Walt Whitman to the late 1990’s provides an excellent context in which to read Howard’s work. Martin’s study is complimentary and focuses on Howard’s skill in using the literary monologue to portray various character types. Sees Howard’s homosexuality as a central issue in the poet’s work, and shows how the past plays a major role in Howard’s thinking.