John Ashbery


John Ashbery

Ashbery was born in July 28, 1927 in Rochester, New York and raised on a farm near Lake Ontario; his brother died when they were children. Ashbery was educated at Deerfield Academy. At Deerfield, Ashbery read such poets as W. H. Auden, Dylan Thomas, and Wallace Stevens, and began writing poetry; one of his poems was actually published in Poetry Magazine, though under the name of a classmate who had submitted it without Ashbery's knowledge or permission. His first ambition was to be a painter. From the age of eleven until fifteen he took weekly classes at the art museum in Rochester.

Ashbery graduated in 1949 with an A.B., cum laude, from Harvard College, where he was a member of the Harvard Advocate, the university's literary magazine, and the Signet Society. He wrote his senior thesis on the poetry of W.H. Auden. At Harvard he befriended fellow writers Kenneth Koch, Barbara Epstein, V.R. Lang, Frank O'Hara, and Edward Gorey, and was a classmate of Robert Creeley, Robert Bly, and Peter Davison. Ashbery went on to study briefly at New York University, and received an M.A. from Columbia in 1951.

From the mid-1950s, when he received a Fulbright Fellowship, through 1965, he lived in France. He served as the art editor for the European edition of the New York Herald Tribune, while also translating potboilers and contemporary French literature. During this period he lived with the French poet Pierre Martory. After returning to the United States, he continued his career as an art critic, for New York and Newsweek magazines, while also serving on the editorial board of ARTNews until 1972. Several years later, he began a stint as an editor at Partisan Review, serving from 1976 to 1980.

During the fall of 1963, Ashbery became acquainted with Andy Warhol at a scheduled poetry reading at the Literary Theatre in New York. He had also previously written favorable reviews of Warhol's art. That same year he reviewed Warhol's Flowers exhibition at Galerie Illeana Sonnabend in Paris, describing Warhol's visit to Paris as "the biggest transatlantic fuss since Oscar Wilde brought culture to Buffalo in the nineties." Ashbery returned to New York nearing the end of 1965 and was welcomed with a large party at the Factory, and also became close friends with poet Gerard Malanga, who was also Warhol's assistant, on whom he had an important influence as a poet.

In the early 1970s, Ashbery began teaching at Brooklyn College, where his students included poet John Yau, and in the 1980s, he moved to Bard College, where he is the Charles P. Stevenson, Jr., Professor of Languages and Literature. He was the poet laureate of New York state from 2001 to 2003, and also served for many years as a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. Ashbery lives in New York City and Hudson, New York, with his partner, David Kermani.


As We Know : Poems (New York : Viking Press, 1979; New York : Penguin Books, 1979)
And The Stars Were Shining (New York : Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 1994)
April Galleons : Poems (New York, N.Y., U.S.A. : Viking, 1987)
Can You Hear, Bird (New York : Farrar, Straus, And Giroux, 1995)
Coventry (New York, N.Y. : Nadja, C1993)
The Double Dream Of Spring (New York : E. P. Dutton & Co., 1970; New York : The Ecco Press, 1976)
Europa (New York : Leandro Katz, 1971)
Flow Chart (New York : Knopf, 1991)
Fragment : Clepsydre, Poemes Francais (Paris : Seuil, 1975)
Fragment : Poem (Los Angeles : Black Sparrow Press, 1969)
Hotel Lautreamont (New York : A.A. Knopf, 1992)
Houseboat Days(New York : Penguin Books, 1977; New York : Viking Press, 1977)
The Ice Storm (Madras ; New York : Hanuman Books, 1987)
John Ashbery (New York, Ny : Academy Of American Poets, 1994)
John Ashbery and Kenneth Koch (A Conversation) (Tucson : Interview Press, 1965?)
A Nest Of Ninnies (New York : Dutton, 1969; Calais, Vermont : Z Press, 1975)
The New Spirit (New York : Adventures In Poetry, c1970)
Reported Sightings : Art Chronicles, 1957 (New York : Knopf, 1989)
Selected Poems (London : Cape, 1967; Manchester : Carcanet, 1985; New York, N.Y., U.S.A. : Viking, 1985)
Self-Portrait In A Convex Mirror : Poems (New York : Viking Press, 1975; Manchester (Eng.) : Carcanet New Press, 1977)
Shadow Train : Poems (New York : Viking Press, 1981)
Some Trees (New Haven : Yale University Press, 1956; New York : Corinth Books, 1970, C1956; New York : Ecco Press, 1978)
Sunrise In Suburbia (New York : Phoenix Book Shop, 1968)
The Tennis Court Oath; A Book Of Poems (Middletown, Conn. : Wesleyan University Press, C1962)
Three Books : Poems (New York, N.Y.: Penguin Books, 1993)
Three Madrigals (New York : Poet's Press, 1968)
Three Poems (New York : Viking Press, 1972; Harmondsworth ; New York : Penguin Books, 1977, C1972)
Turandot : And Other Poems, With Four Drawings By Jane Freilicher. (New York : Editions Of The Tibor De Nagy Gallery, 1953)
The Vermont Notebook (Los Angeles : Black Sparrow Press, 1975)
A Wave : Poems (New York : Viking Press, 1984; Manchester : Carcanet Press, 1984)

Academic Art / Edited By Thomas B. Hess And John Ashbery (London : Collier-Macmillan, 1971).
The Academy : Five Centuries Of Grandeur And Misery, From The Carracci To Mao Tse-Tung / Edited By Thomas B. Hess And John Ashbery (New York : Macmillan, C1967).
The Avant-Garde / Edited By Thomas B. Hess And John Ashbery (New York : Macmillan, 1968.).
The Dice Cup : Selected Prose Poems / Max Jacob ; Edited And With An Introd. By Michael Brownstein ; Translated From The French By John Ashbery, David Ball, Michael Brownstein, Ron Padgett, Zack Rogow, And Bill Zavatsky (New York : Sun, 1979).
Every Question But One / Pierre Martory ; Translated By John Ashbery (Hudson, N.Y: Groundwater Press, C1990)
Fairfield Porter : Realist Painter In An Age Of Abstraction / Essays By John Ashbery And Kenworth Moffett (Boston : Museum Of Fine Arts : Distributed By Little, Brown ; New York, 1982) The Grand Eccentrics. Edited By Thomas B. Hess And John Ashbery (New York : Collier Books, 1971).
A Joseph Cornell Album / Dore Ashton ; With Special Contributions By John Ashbery ... ; And Assorted Ephemera, Readings, Decorations, And Reproductions Of Works By Joseph Cornell (New York, N.Y. : Da Capo Press, <1989?>, C1974)
Kitaj Paintings, Drawings, Pastels / John Ashbery ... The Landscape Is Behind The Door / Pierre Martory ; Translated By John Ashbery. (Riverdale-On-Hudson, N.Y. : Sheep Meadow Press, C1994)
Light: From Aten To Laser. Edited By Thomas B. Hess And John Ashbery (New York : Macmillan, 1969).
Light In Art / Edited By Thomas B. Hess And John Ashbery (New York : Collier Books, 1971).
Narrative Art / Edited By Thomas B. Hess And John Ashbery. (New York Macmillan <1970>).
Painterly Painting. Edited By Thomas B. Hess And John Ashbery. (New York Macmillan <1971>).
Selected Poems / Pierre Reverdy ; Selected By Mary Ann Caws ; Translated By John Ashbery, Mary Ann Caws & Patricia Terry ; Edited By Timothy Bent. (Winston-Salen, N.C. : Wake Forest University Press, 1991)
Three Poems Of Robert Frost; A Mirror On Which To Dwell; Syringa; In Sleep, In Thunder. Sung In English; Third Work Sung Partly In Greek. Texts By Elizabeth Bishop <2nd Work>; John Ashbery, Archilocus, Aeschylus, Hesiod, Homer, Ibycus, Minnermus, Orpheus, Plato, And Sappho <3rd Work>; Robert Lowell; 4th Work (New York, NY; Bridge Records, 1989)

Last updated January 07, 2012