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Collected Poems 1956-1987

(Library of America)

John Ashbery

Edited by Mark Ford

Collected Poems 1956 to 1987 by John Ashbery
RRP: GBP 29.95
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This title is available for academic inspection (paperback only).
Paperback
ISBN: 978 1 847770 58 5
Categories: 20th Century, American
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Published: September 2010
216 x 135 x 54 mm
1058 pages
Publisher: Carcanet Press
  • Description
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  • Awards
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  • John Ashbery’s Collected Poems 1956-1987 contains the complete text of the poet’s first twelve books, from Some Trees (1956), selected for publication by W.H. Auden, to April Galleons (1987), and including The Vermont Notebook (1975) with the original artwork by Joe Brainard, and Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror (1976), which won the Pulitzer Prize, together with a selection of more than sixty previously uncollected poems.

    To read Ashbery’s work in sequence is to experience the magnitude of his presence in American poetry over these four decades, as innovator and influence. His poetry, ‘an exuberant script for survival’ (Marina Warner), ‘light-footed and delectably irresponsible’ (Alfred Brendel), fascinates with virtuosic complexity and delights with wry humour. A restless explorer of the modern world, alive to language and impression, Ashbery enlarges the possibilities of poetry.

    With a detailed chronology and notes on the poems, Collected Poems 1956-1987 is an indispensable compilation of the work of one of the essential poets of our time.

    Cover Art Portrait of John Ashbery, 1962, by Larry Rivers. Pencil on paper, 14" x 17". Private Collection, Courtesy Tibor de Nagy Gallery, New York. Art © Estate of Larry Rivers/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

    John Ashbery
    John Ashbery was born in Rochester, New York, in 1927. His books of poetry include Breezeway ; Quick Question ; Planisphere ; Notes from the Air: Selected Later Poems, which was awarded the 2008 International Griffin Poetry Prize; A Worldly Country ; Where Shall I Wander ; and Self-Portrait in ... read more
    Mark Ford
    Mark Ford was born in 1962. His publications include two collections of poetry, Landlocked (Chatto & Windus 1991, 1998) and Soft Sift (Faber & Faber 2001, Harcourt Brace 2003); a critical biography of the French poet, playwright and novelist Raymond Roussel ( Raymond Roussel and the Republic of Dreams, Faber ... read more
    Awards won by John Ashbery Winner, 1997  Gold Medal for Poetry Winner, 2001 Wallace Stevens Award Winner, 1995 Robert Frost Medal Winner, 1976 National Book Critics Circle Award (Self Portrait in a Convex Mirror) Winner, 1976 National Book Award (Self Portrait in a Convex Mirror) Winner, 1976 Pulitzer Award (Self Portrait in a Convex Mirror)
      'John Ashbery's Collected Poems 1956-1987, edited by Mark Ford (Carcanet), was a book I found inexhaustible. Possibly the greatest living English-speaking poet and one of the most prolific, Ashbery takes language to its limits, so that words serve as pointers to shifting experiences that elude description. Containing his masterpiece 'Self-Portrait In A Convex Mirror', one of the most penetrating 20th-century meditations on what it means to be human, this collection succeeded in stirring my thoughts as well as delighting me.'
    John Gray The Guardian Books Of The Year 2010
    Praise for John Ashbery 'John Ashbery's final collection of poetry disguises itself well as a mid-career high. The energy and modernity of his strange little worlds tell nothing of his age.'
    Stand Magazine


      'More than a century after Arthur Rimbaud composed his Illuminations they are reborn in John Ashbery's magnificent translation. It is fitting that the major American poet since Hart Crane and Wallace Stevens should give us this noble version of the precursor of all three.'
    Harold Bloom
    'A fine collection of poems rooted in 21st-century America.'
    Robert McCrum, The Observer
      'More than a century after Arthur Rimbaud composed his Illuminations they are reborn in John Ashbery's magnificent translation. It is fitting that the major American poet since Hart Crane and Wallace Stevens should give us this noble version of the precursor of all three.'
    Harold Bloom
    'Quick Question, with the hushed intensity of its music and great lyric beauty, could only be Ashbery.'
    Ian Thomson, Financial Times
     The book invites the reader to poetic gluttony. It serves as a corrective to the monoglot provincialism by which the Anglophone world is still bedevilled.
    Sean O'Brien, Independent
     'The lyrics in Breezeway, a new collection by the octogenarian poet John Ashbery are as good as his finest. I especially like the final poem, poignantly reprising the last line of Keats' Ode to a Nightingale', "Do I wake or sleep?"'
    Salley Vickers, The Observer - The New Review, 29.11.2015.
       'The careering, centrifugal side of Girls on the Run is one of its most effective tools in creating its special ainbience of good-humoured menace ... Ashbery has made the slush of signification, the realm where words slip, slide, perish and decay, uniquely his own.'
    David Wheatley, Times Literary Supplement, 30 June, 2000
       'In his seventies John Ashbery offers a sprightly and energetic alternative. Instead of being sluggish he demands that the self must be even more alert, more vigilant, more attentive to the world around it, not indifferent to and weary of it. Alert, vigilant, attentive ... Wakefulness, the brilliantly evocative title of Ashbery's collection.'
    Stephen Matterson, 'The Capacious Art of Poetry,' Poetry Ireland Review 62, 114
        'The Mooring of Starting Out is filled with illustrations glimpsed through luminous, funny, formidably intelligent and often heartbreaking poems.'
    Andrew Zawacki, 'A wave of music,' Times Literary Supplement, 12 June, 1998
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