John Ashbery (1927 - 2017) was the author of more than twenty-five collections of poetry, including Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror, which won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and the National Book Critics Circle Award; Selected Poems (1985); and Selected Later Poems (2007), which was awarded the 2008 International Griffin Poetry Prize. Ashbery's honors included a MacArthur Fellowship and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Book Foundation in 2011.
Self-Portrait won a Pulizer Prize, National Book Award, and National Book Critics Circle Award, but Ashbery remains famously abstruse. "Something important is going on here," says LJ reviewer Graham Christian, "and on the chance that we figure it out, Selected Poems is worth having."
"No one now writing poetry in the English language is likelier than Ashbery to survive the severe judgments of time. . . . He is joining that American sequence that includes Whitman, Dickinson, Stevens, and Hart Crane." --Harold Bloom
"Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror is certainly one of the most sustained performances in American writing. . . . John Ashbery, more than any other contemporary, is the poet of the momentary, the transitory. This preoccupation animates everything he writes, and what he writes is some of the best poetry of our day." --The Washington Post
"Ashbery is astonishingly original, and though his mannerisms have been widely imitated, he himself has imitated no one." --Edmund White
"A style devoid of pretension and a beautiful ease of manner that is rarely less than enchanting . . . There is no one who writes quite like Ashbery, and the poetic territory he inhabits is very much his own." --Paul Auster