Richard Howard was born in 1929 in Cleveland, Ohio, and studied at Columbia University and the Sorbonne. After working for several years as a lexicographer, he became a translator from the French and has published over 150 translations, including works by Cioran, Stendhal and Roland Barthes; in 1983 he received the American Book Award for his translation of Baudelaire's Fleurs du mal. In 1970 he was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for his third book of poems, Untitled Subjects, and latterly received the Academy of Arts and Letters Literary Award for his books of poems. His comprehensive critical study Alone with America: Essays on the Art of Poetry in the United States since 1950, originally published in 1969, was reissued in an expanded edition in 1980. He is the poetry editor of The Paris Review and Western Humanities Review, a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, and Professor of Practice in the School of the Arts (Writing Division) of Columbia University. In 1996 he received a MacArthur Fellowship.