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John Ashbery, Breezeway

As part of an evening at Pioneer Works honoring John Ashbery, one of America’s most important poets and an inspiration for generations of writers and artists, the writer reads from his works including from his 26th collection, Breezeway (Ecco). As with most of Ashbery’s work, it is composed partly of language foraged from everyday American speech.

Prior to the reading, writers Geoffery G. O’Brien, Ben Lerner, Mónica de la Torre, and John Yau read from the poet's works and gathered in the Clocktower Radio studio to discuss Ashbery's role and influence to them and the literary world. Hear that here.

John Ashbery is a winner of the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and a MacArthur “Genius” Grant. One of the most influential poets of the twentieth century, Ashbery came to acclaim in the 1960s and 70s, when abstract expressionism was at its peak. A penultimate postmodernist, Ashbery became associated early on with the New York School, and his incredible canon of works—including Some Trees (1956), The Double Dream of Spring (1970), Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror (1975) and Houseboat Days (1977), in particular—is notable for being particularly impacted by the visual arts.

Recorded Tuesday, December 8, 2015.


Pioneer Works Radio Channel


This series is devoted to highlighting the artists, events, and innovative programs brought to you by Pioneer Works in Red HookBrooklyn