John Ashbery's new collection speaks from the haunted, ambiguous cities of the twenty-first century. These are the landscapes of the worldly country we have created, both ominous and absurd. Perspectives dissolve into dazzle. The clock is ticking: we are on the wrong set and the cameras are rolling. Ashbery's supple, vigorous idiom conjures an unpredictable world, astonished by moments of piercing directness: the pause to share a winter pear, the sudden apprehension that the places we left fallow 'will be cultivated by another'. "A Worldly Country" tells us where we are, now exhilarating, now vertiginous; full of heartbreak and (as always with Ashbery) full of every kind of mirth, from the most sombre to the most enchanted.
John Ashbery was born in 1927 in Rochester, New York. He went to Deerfield Academy at 16 and continued his education at Harvard where he met Kenneth Koch and Frank O'Hara and, along with James Schuyler and Barbara Guest, they became known as the 'New York School of Poets'. Ashbery's second collection, Some Trees, won a competition judged by W H Auden for inclusion in the Yale Young Poets Series. In 1955 Ashbery was awarded the Fulbright scholarship enabling him to go to Paris, where he remained for the next 10 years, working as an art critic and translator. Ashbery finally returned to New York after the death of his father in the mid-sixties and has remained in the city since then. John Ashbery is a Guggenheim and MacArthur Fellow and has been a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets and Charles Eliot Norton Professor of Poetry at Harvard. He is currently Charles P. Stevenson Jr. Professor of Language and Literature at Bard College. Ashbery received the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award and the National Book Critics' Circle Award in 1975 for Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror. His twenty volumes of poetry, including Girls on the Run, Wakefulness, Hotel Lautreamont, Flowchart, A Wave and As We Know, as well as a novel, A Nest of Ninnies, and a Selected Prose, are all available from Carcanet.
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- ID: 9781857549195
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