Barbara Howes Analysis

Other literary forms

(Poets and Poetry in America)

In addition to her poetry books, Barbara Howes (howz) was responsible for editing two major collections of short stories from Latin American writers. From the Green Antilles: Writings of the Caribbean (1966) includes short stories from the Caribbean author Saint-John Perse, the Nobel Prize-winning V. S. Naipaul, George Lamming, and Derek Walcott among others. Because of the variety of works it contains, the book was published in English, Spanish, Dutch, and French editions. The Eye of the Heart: Short Stories from Latin America (1973) features the works of Jorge Luis Borges, Alejo Carpentier, Carlos Fuentes, and Gabriel García Márquez. One of the more unusual stories is Alfonso Reyes’s “Major Aranda’s Hand,” a story focusing on a dismembered hand.


(Poets and Poetry in America)

Barbara Howes received the Bess Hokin Prize from Poetry magazine in 1949 and an Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1971. Looking up at the Leaves, A Private Signal, and Collected Poems, 1945-1990 were finalists for the National Book Award. Her poems were included in numerous anthologies and published in many periodicals, including The Atlantic, The New Yorker, Poetry, Southern Review, and Yale Review.


(Poets and Poetry in America)

Gioia, Dana. “Barbara Howes and the Eminent Sorority.” The Dark Horse 2 (1995). Poet Gioia examines why Howes’s poetry has not found greater recognition and likens her to Marianne Moore, Elizabeth Bishop, and Emily Dickinson, independent and singular writers who form an “eminent sorority.”

Howes, Barbara. “A View of Poetry.” In Poets on Poetry, edited by Howard Nermerov. New York: Basic Books, 1966. In one of the few essays on poetry that she wrote, Howes presents her opinions on what poetry should be.

MacShane, Frank. “The Private Gardens of Barbara Howes.” Hollins Critic 15, no. 3 (June, 1978): 1-14. An encompassing analysis of Howes’s career through the 1970’s, including her effect on poetry.

Pace, Eric. “Barbara Howes, Poet and Editor, Dies at Eighty-One.” The New York Times, February 25, 1996, pp. 1, 39. Howes’s obituary details her personal and professional life and relates the importance and influence of her works on American poetry.

Untermeyer, Louis, ed. Fifty Modern American and British Poets, 1920-1970. New York: McKay, 1973. Provides biographical information on Howe as well as critical commentary.