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John Ashbery

From Academic Kids

John Ashbery (born July 8, 1927) is one of the most influential and innovative American poets of the 20th century.

Born in Rochester, New York and a graduate of Harvard University and Columbia University, Ashbery has won nearly every major American award for his poetry, beginning with the Yale Younger Poets Prize in 1956, selected by W. H. Auden, for his first collection, Some Trees. His early work shows the influence of Wallace Stevens, Boris Pasternak, and many of the French surrealists (his translations from French literature are numerous).

In the late 1950s, the critic John Bernard Myers categorized the common traits of Ashbery's avant-garde poetry, as well as that of Kenneth Koch, Frank O'Hara, James Schuyler, Barbara Guest,Kenward Elmslie and others, as constituting a "New York School."

Ashbery's works are characterized by a free-flowing, often disjunctive syntax, extensive linguistic play, often infused with considerable humor, and a prosaic, sometimes disarmingly flat or parodic tone. The play of the human mind is the subject of a great many of his poems.

Selected collections

Ashbery also has written art criticism, collected in "Reported Sightings." He has written three plays and, with the late poet James Schuyler, the novel "A Nest of Ninnies." Ashbery's Charles Eliot Norton Lectures at Harvard University were published as "Other Traditions" in 2000. He currently is the Charles P. Stevenson, Jr. Professor at Bard College.

He is the poet laureate of New York state.

External links

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