Ashbery, John

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Ashbery, John,

1927–2017, American poet, b. Rochester, N.Y., grad. Harvard (B.A., 1949), Columbia (M.A., 1951). Among the most acclaimed and influential American poets of his era, he was (1960s–70s) one of the so-called New York school of poets, which also included Frank O'HaraO'Hara, Frank
1926–66, American poet, b. Baltimore, grad. Harvard (B.A., 1950), Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor (M.A., 1951). His poetry is spontaneous, vernacular, witty, personal, and very much of its time and place—New York City, 1951–66.
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, Kenneth KochKoch, Kenneth
(Kenneth Jay Koch) , 1925–2002, American poet, novelist, and playwright, b. Cincinnati. After studying at Harvard and Columbia he was associated with the Artist's Theatre, Locus Solus
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, and James Schuyler. Influenced early in his career by the method and music of John CageCage, John,
1912–92, American composer, b. Los Angeles. A leading figure in the musical avant-garde from the late 1930s, he attended Pomona College and later studied with Arnold Schoenberg, Adolph Weiss, and Henry Cowell.
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, Ashbery called his writing technique "managed chance." He was averse to the personal revelations of the contemporary, so-called confessional poets. His poems are experimental and idiosyncratic in style and syntax, strongly visual, and narrative, but typically complex, elusive, ambiguous, and somewhat obscure. They have often been compared to verbal collages. His more than 20 collections include Some Trees (1956), The Tennis Court Oath (1962), Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror, his most celebrated work (1975; Pulitzer Prize, National Book Award, National Book Critics Circle prize), Shadow Train (1981), A Wave (1984), April Galleons (1987), And the Stars Were Shining (1994), Chinese Whispers (2002), Where Shall I Wander (2005), Planisphere (2009), and Breezeway (2015). He also wrote two book-length poems, Flow Chart (1991) and Girls on the Run (1999); and three plays, The Compromise (1960), The Heroes (1960), and The Philosopher (1964); and coauthored a novel, A Nest of Ninnies (1969). He also translated works by such French writers as Pierre Reverdy, Raymond Roussel, Max Jacob, and Arthur Rimbaud.

On a Fulbright scholarship to Paris in the 1950s, Ashbery began to write art criticism and continued to do so after his return to New York, writing for various journals and editing the quarterly Art and Literature. Many of his art reviews and essays were collected in Reported Sightings (1989). He also created collages, mingling postcards, comic strips, advertising, and the like often with fantastic landscapes, and some of these are paired with his poems in They Knew What They Wanted (2018). Ashbery taught at Brooklyn College, Harvard, and Bard College.


See M. Ford, ed., John Ashbery: Collected Poems, 1956–1987 (2008) and John Ashbery: Collected Poems 1991–2000 (2017); E. Richie, ed., Selected Prose (2004); K. Roffman, The Songs We Know Best: John Ashbery's Early Life (2017); studies by D. Shapiro (1979), D. Lehman, ed. (1980) and as author (1999), H. Bloom, ed. (1985 and 2004), J. Shoptaw (1994), S. M. Schultz, ed. (1995), D. Herd (2000), G. Ward (2d ed. 2001), K. Bartczak (2006), A. DuBois (2006), and J. E. Vincent (2007).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

Ashbery, John (Lawrence)

(1927–  ) poet, writer; born in Rochester, N.Y. He attended Harvard (B.A. 1949), Columbia University (M.A. 1951), lived in Paris (1955–65), and settled in New York City. He taught at Brooklyn College beginning in 1974, was a playwright and a literary and art critic, and was known for his visionary poetry, as in Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror (1975).
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.
References in periodicals archive ?
The book uncovers how poets including Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, Charles Olson, Frank OAEHara, and John Ashbery engaged with technical and media cultures and how they expressed their anxieties about emerging technology such as nuclear weapons and nuclear power, computer-based automation, communication technologies, and the reach of television and radio.
David Baerwald's sadness over the passing of poet John Ashbery ignited thoughts of much-admired figures lost over the years and paved the path for All My Heroes.
Karin Roffman, The Songs We Know Best: John Ashbery's Early Life.
Charles Altieri's "How John Ashbery Modified Stevens' Uses of 'As'" focuses on a concrete trope, which was also employed by Ashbery, although for a different purpose; for him, 'as' is both a complex temporal space and an "opportunity to develop participatory equivalence" (191).
Examine any of her filler-column hagiographies like "A new collection of John Ashbery's work and other best poetry for September."
When John Ashbery died last summer, I was reminded of the novel he co-wrote with James Schuyler, A Nest of Ninnies, which remains largely unknown though it is one of the best post-modern novels.
DECADES AGO, Harold Bloom declared that after the death of Wallace Stevens, in 1955, we entered the "age l of Ashhery." That may be one of the bolder pronouncements made by a famously bold literary critic, but there remains an undeniable truth to it, as one can encounter John Ashbery's poems seemingly anywhere in the world--from Winnipeg to Berlin to Beijing.
John Ashbery, the enigmatic poet whose efforts took American poetry to new heights of excellence and dynamism, passed away at the age of 90 on Sunday. 
John Ashbery, who turns 90 in July, is one of America's most venerable, if challenging, poets.
Much more than a poetic primer, this volume expands our reading of key American poets, from John Ashbery and W.
In a well-known exchange with Louis Simpson in the Nation in 1:967, John Ashbery writes that poetry is a "form of action" whose political validity equals that of active protest.