Ashbery: Collected Poems 1991-2000
Mark Ford, Editor
Library of America

This is the second volume of collected poetry by award-winning American poet John Ashbery, containing seven complete collections from his late-20th century work.

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“. . .postmodernist and surrealist style of verse .”

Havard educated Ashbery is an art critic and shrewd observer of the American art scene and won the Pulitzer Prize for his poemSelf-Portrait in a Convex Mirror. The collection begins with the complete text of his book-length poem, Flow Chart (1991), which demonstrates well his surreal, analytical style that has inspired imitation by other poets.  

The book-length Girls on the Run was inspired by “outsider artist” Henry Darger’s disturbing fictional universe. Hotel Lautréamont  (1992) is a collection that hints at his interest, if not obsession, with all things French. This volume also includes the full collections of And the Stars Were Shining (1994), Can You Hear, Bird (1995), Wakefulness (1998), and Your Name Here (2000), as well as 26 previously uncollected poems.

Ashbery will look smart on any poetry-lover’s bookshelf, particularly those who are fans of the postmodernist and surrealist style of verse.

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Reviewer: Cindy A. Matthews