John Ashbery Archive

Journey into the Unknown: An Investigation of Metaphysical Poetry

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At a poetry workshop recently I heard the word metaphysical used to describe several contemporary American poets of disparate temperaments. At times metaphysical sounded erudite, at times dismissive, and I wasn’t sure I wanted it near poems and poets I loved.

“I really wanted to just drive and talk with someone”: An Interview with John Gallaher

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John Gallaher’s book-length poem In A Landscape has the feel of a long, wide-ranging conversation with an old friend. It’s like one of those cross-country car ride conversations when there’s time to talk about anything and everything: the tiny details of day-to-day living and the meaning-of-life questions that keep

As the Train of Fiction Rolls On, the Space Between

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Last year, I interviewed Pam Houston about her novel Contents May Have Shifted and the fine line between fact and fiction. “Well, I don’t think of it as a fine line,” she wrote to me in an email. My task as a writer has always been to take the

Ploughshares Spring 2015: An Extended Introduction by Guest Editor Neil Astley

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Why is it that most American poets know very little about contemporary poetry from Britain and Ireland? A good number of them are published in Britain; they give readings at festivals in the UK and Ireland where they’re able to meet and hear the work of their British and

John Ashbery

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I came early in the evening to lower Manhattan, more than an hour before the showcase reading that night at Poets House. I came to browse the showcase shelves and to meet a friend and share a bit of supper near the Hudson. I came early to see familiar