Other literary forms
David Kirby’s rise as a scholar has paralleled his ascent as a poet; in many ways he exemplifies the well-rounded and diversified modern man of letters. In addition to his poetry, he has written criticism, commentaries, essays, reviews, and scholarly works. He has produced books on Henry James (America’s Hive of Honey: Or, Foreign Influences on American Fiction Through Henry James, 1980, and“The Portrait of a Lady” and “The Turn of the Screw”: Henry James and Melodrama, 1991) and New Orleans writer Grace King (Grace King, 1980). Additionally, he has written books on subjects as diverse as Western culture, modern culture, and American boyishness (The Sun Rises in the Evening: Monism and Quietism in Western Culture, 1982; The Plural World: An Interdisciplinary Glossary of Contemporary Thought, 1984; and Boyishness in American Culture: The Charms and Dangers of Social Immaturity, 1991). He has also written scholarly considerations of the writer Herman Melville (Herman Melville, 1993) and poet Mark Strand (Mark Strand and the Poet’s Contemporary Culture, 1990). His two collections of essays, What Is a Book? (2002) and Ultra-Talk: Johnny Cash, the Mafia, Shakespeare, Drum Music, St. Teresa of Avila, and Seventeen Other Colossal Topics of Conversation (2007), have collected many of his diverse and popular essays previously published in a variety of journals and magazines. In collaboration with Allen Woodman, two of his poems were rewritten as children’s books: The Cows Are Going to Paris (1991) and The Bear Who Came to Stay (1994).