John Ashbery was born in Rochester, New York, in 1927, he is well known as an art critic and poet. He is perhaps one of the best known Poets of the “New York School”. Ashbery graduated from Harvard in 1947 where he wrote a study on his favourite poet Wallace Stevens. The poetry of Stevens has influenced Ashbery’s own poetry, however his poetry is characterized by originality in bothhis form of poems and their content.
“when Ashbery writes well, no living poet in English can rival him in fresh, apt, surprising phrases. His attitudes and emotions are indescribably gallant as he mingles humor with pathos, resignation and elegy with hope, and maintains his relaxed, equable, fluent, wonderfully imaginative speech despite premises that might have led to despair. ”
By David Perkins, “Meditations of the Solitary Mind: John Ashbery and A R. Ammons
John Ashbery has been awarded many prestigious literary prizes including the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award. Ashbery was the first English-language poet to win the Grand Prix de Biennales Internationales de PoÃ©sie (Brussels), and has also received the the Bollingen Prize, the English Speaking Union Prize, and the Feltrinelli Prize.
He is a former chancellor of the Academy of American Poets