John Ashbery

Award-winning poet John Ashbery has been recognized as a major figure in the U.S. literary avant garde.  His poetic voice has been characterized by New York Times Book Review essayist Kenneth Koch as “a hushed, simultaneously incomprehensible whisper with a weird pulsating rhythm that fluctuates like a wave between peaks of sharp clarity and watery droughts of obscurity and languor.”  He is the author of many collections of poetry, including, most recently,  Notes from the Air:  Selected Later Poems; Chinese Whispers; As Umbrellas Follow Rain;  and Your Name Here.  He has been the recipient of the Wallace Stevens Award of the Academy of American Poets, a MacArthur Fellowship, a Gold Medal for Poetry from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres from the French government, among many other honors and recognitions.  His book Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror, published in 1976, won the Pultizer Prize, the National Book Award, and the National Book Critics Circle Prize.  Ashbery is also a well known art critic, and it has been noted that “the abstract expressionist movement in modern painting, stressing nonrepresentational methods of picturing reality, is an especially important presence” in his own poetry.  He lives in New York City and is Charles P. Stevenson Jr. Professor of Languages and Literature at Bard College.

 

Readings

Unspeakable Practices IV: Celebrating Conjunctions Magazine
Contemporary Writers Reading Series - Spring 2009