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John Ashbery

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March 20, 1994
After ten years, my lamp expired. At first I thought there wasn't going to be any more of this. In the convenience store of spring I met someone who knew someone I loved by the dairy case. All ribbons parted on a veil of musicks,?? wherein unwitting orangutans gambled for socks, and the tasseled nemy?? was routed. Up in one corner a plaid puff of smoke warned mere pleasures away. We were getting on famously--like "houses on fire," I believe the expression is.
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ENTERTAINMENT
January 9, 2014 | By Carolyn Kellogg
Amiri Baraka died Thursday after weeks of failing health, a family spokeperson confirmed. He was 79. A playwright, poet, critic and activist, Baraka was one of the most prominent and controversial African American voices in the world of American letters. He was born Everett LeRoi Jones on Oct. 7, 1934, in Newark, N.J. A gifted student, he graduated from high school two years early and went to college at New York University and Howard University. After serving in the Air Force for more than two years, Baraka -- then Jones -- was dishonorably discharged for reading communist texts.
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BOOKS
November 24, 1985 | Suzanne Muchnic, Muchnic is a Times art critic.
"America has not seen a native landscape painter of the genius of Neil Welliver since Frederic Church," declares Frank H. Goodyear Jr. in the opening line of this beautifully produced monograph. It's a dramatic beginning, but the proclamation only calls attention to Welliver's limitations. "Oh, yeah?"
NATIONAL
November 17, 2011 | By Carolyn Kellogg, Los Angeles Times
Jesmyn Ward's "Salvage the Bones," about a family hit by Hurricane Katrina, receives the National Book Award for fiction. The novel, her second, is a surprise winner. On a night of literary honors, Jesmyn Ward's "Salvage the Bones," about a family hit by Hurricane Katrina, received the National Book Award for fiction on Wednesday at a black-tie gala in New York. Ward's novel, her second, was a surprise winner. The National Book Foundation, which sponsors the awards, presented two of its five major prizes to African American women.
BOOKS
December 22, 1985 | RICHARD EDER
We discover John Ashbery as the astronomers once discovered the planet Neptune. They could not see it but knew it must be there because of the ripply and uncertain orbits of the planets near by. He is rarely quite visible, yet he bends our paths. Ashbery, along with James Merrill, must be the most laureled of what, by now, are our senior poets. Auden laid hands upon him 30 years ago for the Yale Younger Poet series.
BOOKS
August 10, 1986 | Merle Rubin, Rubin is a Pasadena-based novelist and critic who contributes frequently to the Christian Science Monitor. and
Fantomas, evil genius of crime, made his original debut in this novel, first published in 1911. A huge publicity campaign helped orchestrate a craze that swept nearly every sector of the French reading public, from aristocrats to artisans, from bartenders to the budding avant-garde of the arts. Fantomas' progenitors, a pair of hack journalists, rose to the challenge of instant success by providing 20 sequels before Pierre Souvestre's death in 1914 from the Spanish influenza.
BOOKS
June 23, 1991 | Scott Mahler, Mahler is a free-lance writer who lives and works in New Hampshire
John Ashbery used to be considered a controversial poet, but since he has become a more mature and "established" writer, the controversy has died down to just a smoldering disagreement on the artistic merit of his work. For years, Ashbery was thought of as an experimental poet, owing to the opacity of his writing and poems like "Litany," a work of more than 3,000 lines in two columns meant to be read as "simultaneous but independent monologues."
BOOKS
September 24, 1989 | Elena Brunet, Column edited by Sonja Bolle
Poet John Ashbery, whose "Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror" won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1975, is perhaps less well known for his art criticism. The best of these essays, written over the course of 30 years and ranging over such topics as Dada and Surrealism, the expatriate American art community in Paris, the careers of Jackson Pollock, Giorgio de Chirico, Henri Michaux, architecture and wallpaper, are collected in this volume.
BOOKS
July 23, 1989 | Ian Gregson, Gregson is a British poet, winner of the Gregory Award. He has published essays on Frank O'Hara and on the influence of John Ashbery in Britain. and
The idea behind this book is an extremely good one--to display the full variety of contemporary U.S. poetry by arranging 75 poets in alphabetical order, each represented by work that had been published in 1987. The career of each contributor is described in an appendix, and some of the poets supply helpful comments on their poems.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 17, 2011 | By Susan Salter Reynolds, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Illuminations Arthur Rimbaud, translated from the French by John Ashbery W.W. Norton: 165 pp., $24.95 This may be the most beautiful book in the world — lighted from within and somehow embodying all forms of literature at the same time. The 44 prose poems of "Illuminations" were Arthur Rimbaud's goodbye to poetry (though he had said goodbye before); they are poised on the brink of a new world. Rimbaud was on his way to Africa to live a life of commerce, to enter the world of buying and selling.
BOOKS
January 21, 2007 | Eric Weinberger, Eric Weinberger teaches expository writing at Harvard.
SAM STANDISH, the narrator of Louis Begley's eighth novel, "Matters of Honor," is a Harvard freshman on his first day there when the book begins; by its end, he's become a successful novelist.
BOOKS
March 20, 2005 | Diane Middlebrook, Diane Middlebrook is the author of several books, including "Her Husband: Hughes and Plath, a Marriage" and a forthcoming biography of Ovid.
Nobody but a reviewer will be likely to read John Ashbery's captivating book of bite-size essays on poetry and painting straight through from beginning to end. Some pieces look tastier than others right away ("The Figure in the Carport: Kenward Elmslie," "Larry Rivers Was Dying. He Asked to See Friends," "Further Adventures of Qfwfq, et al.: Italo Calvino," "Brooms and Prisms: Jasper Johns," "Frank O' Hara's Question," etc.). But don't take the bait.
BOOKS
February 25, 1996 | SUSAN SALTER REYNOLDS
FABLES AND DISTANCES: New and Selected Essays by John Haines (Graywolf: $24.95; 268 pp.). Haines has definite ideas about things, among them poetry. This is evident not only in the clearly stated opinions of these essays, letters and book reviews but also in the way he talks about himself, for example: "I decided to abandon art and devote my life to poetry."
BOOKS
November 5, 1995
Men duly understand the river of life, misconstruing it, as it widens and its cities grow dark and denser, always farther away. **** And of course that remote denseness suits us, as lambs and clover might have if things had been built to order differently. **** But since I don't understand myself, only segments of myself that misunderstand each other, there's no reason for you to want to, no way you could **** even if we both wanted it. Do those towers even exist?
ENTERTAINMENT
January 9, 2014 | By Carolyn Kellogg
Amiri Baraka died Thursday after weeks of failing health, a family spokeperson confirmed. He was 79. A playwright, poet, critic and activist, Baraka was one of the most prominent and controversial African American voices in the world of American letters. He was born Everett LeRoi Jones on Oct. 7, 1934, in Newark, N.J. A gifted student, he graduated from high school two years early and went to college at New York University and Howard University. After serving in the Air Force for more than two years, Baraka -- then Jones -- was dishonorably discharged for reading communist texts.
BOOKS
February 25, 1996 | SUSAN SALTER REYNOLDS
FABLES AND DISTANCES: New and Selected Essays by John Haines (Graywolf: $24.95; 268 pp.). Haines has definite ideas about things, among them poetry. This is evident not only in the clearly stated opinions of these essays, letters and book reviews but also in the way he talks about himself, for example: "I decided to abandon art and devote my life to poetry."
BOOKS
August 22, 1993
Amy Gerstler's review of Brad Gooch's "City Poet: The Life and Times of Frank O'Hara" (June 27) offers an example of cultural amnesia that appears to be her own as well as Brad Gooch's. She cites Gooch as praising the "innovation" of O'Hara and John Ashbery in the way both poets were "able to pass . . . from the high to the low, to gather in their nets such disparate fascinations as French Surrealist poetry, Hollywood's 'guilty pleasures,' Japanese kabuki and noh, Schoenberg's 12-tone compositions (etc.
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