John Ashbery Archive
What is the role of difficult poetry? What does it do that more accessible poetry cannot do? And might it not have a political import?
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.
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
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
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