Otago Daily Times -Charmian Smith 24 Oct 2013
Howard (54) says he started reading poetry seriously when he was 12, working his way from A to Z through the poetry section of the Christchurch Public Library.
He had been introduced to the poems of Robert Burns by his maternal grandfather, who was a Scot.
''I remember I'd been thrilled by the way the language was patterned. During my teens reading poetry took over from reading anything else and I found I could get into quite a receptive space if I was in front of a powerful poem. It helped me get an enhanced sense of my own possibility,'' he said.
''Instead of being all over the place and angry and trying to do 1000 things at once, and trying to impress my friends and impress girls and all that nonsense - necessary nonsense - I could just sit in front of a poem and all the pretence and striving dropped away and I just got into an almost pure sense of wonder - and how someone could make something like this. So I started to try and make something like this.''