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Poetry Book Society Recommendation 2015

About the Author

John Ashbery is the author of more than twenty books of poetry, most recently Quick Question (January 2013). He is the recipient of many honours, including the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and a MacArthur 'genius' award. Born in Rochester, New York, he was educated at Harvard and Columbia. In 1955 he went to France on a Fulbright Scholarship and spent much of the next decade there, including several years as art critic of the International Herald Tribune and Paris correspondent of ArtNews magazine. Ashbery's research on the life and works of Raymond Roussel (1877-1933) resulted in several groundbreaking articles, as well as the appearance in print of the first unpublished work of the writer to come to light after his death. His translations include works by Roussel, Max Jacob, Pierre Reverdy, Stephane Mallarme, Andre Breton, Paul Eluard and many others. His 2008 translation of Pierre Martory's The Landscapist was a Poetry Book Society Recommended Translation. The French government has appointed Ashbery as both Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres and Officier of the Legion d'Honneur.

Reviews

As always, his poems evoke the sound of a single voice engaged in simultaneous multiple conversations. . . . Ashbery remains an engaging trickster, still able to slip the occasional shrewd commentary ("Our networks will be joining you in progress") into the playfully distracting chaos."--Library Journal
"One of the most anticipated poetry collections this spring, Breezeway is delightfully ambitious and imaginative - which is to say, everything we've come to expect from Ashbery."--Buzzfeed
"John Ashbery is the Walt Whitman of our postwar pop age, the prolific chronicler of American consciousness...Yet his long career has proven resilient precisely because-like few other species of modern poetics-he's been so joyously able to absorb and adapt...Breezeway...is one of his best books."--Interview
"John Ashbery's Breezeway is one of the most anticipated collections of the year. Readers who appreciate his mind-bending work will find the same kind of challenging richness he has offered in more than 20 collections of poetry."--Washington Post
"Ashbery's familiar charms are all in evidence: his playful style and his stylish play, his knack for bent idiom and his rhetorical questions."--Boston Globe
"If you've ever had trouble appreciating the disjunctive, not entirely sensical work of America's most celebrated living poet, try reading it out loud after getting high. Studies show that this method is most effective with Ashbery's later work, so no harm starting your experiments with his excellent new collection."--New York magazine

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