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Bard Celebrates Poet and Professor John Ashbery's 80th Birthday

September 14-16 Event Includes Participants Include Charles Bernstein, Peter Gizzi, Robert Kelly, Ann Lauterbach, Bradford Morrow, Jed Perl, Joan Retallack, Reginald Shepherd, Susan Stewart, and Cole Swensen
Mark Primoff
845-758-7412
primoff@bard.edu
08-09-2007
Image Credit: Lynn Davis
 
ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—John Ashbery, Charles P. Stevenson Jr. Professor of Languages and Literature at Bard College since 1990, is renowned as one of the world’s leading contemporary poets and a vital figure in 20th-century arts and letters. According to the New York Times, “Mr. Ashbery is the great original of his generation. He belongs to everyone interested in poetry, or modern art, or just the possibility of change.” On September 14–16, to celebrate Ashbery’s 80th birthday and his remarkable career as a poet, critic, editor, and translator, Bard will host “This Feeling of Exaltation,” a weekend of poetry readings, panel discussions, and music at the College. Among those scheduled to participate are poets Charles Bernstein, Peter Gizzi, Robert Kelly, Ann Lauterbach, Joan Retallack, Reginald Shepherd, Susan Stewart, and Cole Swensen; writer and editor Bradford Morrow; art critic Jed Perl; and literary critic and scholar Susan Stewart. Highlights of the three-day celebration include a concert by the American Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Leon Botstein, on Friday, September 14. All events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted. Along with Frank O’Hara and Kenneth Koch, Ashbery is a central figure in what came to be known, in 1961, as the New York School of poets. His genre-breaking poetry and critical prose on the visual arts, music, film, literature, and culture have profoundly influenced artists, scholars, writers, and the public for decades. The recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the Pulitzer Prize, National Book Award, National Book Critics Circle Award, and Bollingen Prize in Poetry, as well as MacArthur, Guggenheim, and Fulbright fellowships, Ashbery remains today—more than half a century since the publication of his first book in 1953—one of the most innovative and defining voices of our times. John Ashbery’s recent books include A Worldly Country (2007), Where Shall I Wander (2005), Chinese Whispers (2002), Selected Prose (2004), and Other Traditions (the Norton Lecture at Harvard, 2000). He received the Pulitzer Prize, National Book Award, and National Book Critics Circle Award for Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror (1975). He was New York State Poet Laureate (2001–02), a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets (1988–99), and a MacArthur Fellow (1985–90). He received the Wallace Stevens Award from the Academy of American Poets (2001), Gold Medal for Poetry from the American Academy of Arts and Letters (1997), Robert Frost Medal from the Poetry Society of America (1995), and Antonio Feltrinelli International Prize for Poetry, Rome (1992), among other honors, and was made an officer of the Légion d’Honneur of the Republic of France by presidential decree (2002). He is currently Charles P. Stevenson Jr. Professor of Languages and Literature at Bard College. SCHEDULE OF EVENTS “This Feeling of Exaltation” Bard College Celebrates John Ashbery on the Occasion of his 80th Birthday September 14–16, 2007 Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, N.Y. Friday, September 14 4:00–6:00 p.m. Poetry Reading Charles Bernstein, Peter Gizzi, Reginald Shepherd, Susan Stewart, and Cole Swensen Bradford Morrow, introduction (This event is funded in part by Poets & Writers, Inc., with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency.) LUMA Theater, Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts 6:45 p.m. Preconcert Talk Richard Wilson, American Symphony Orchestra Composer in Residence Sosnoff Theater, Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts 8:00 p.m. American Symphony Orchestra* Leon Botstein, Conductor Johannes Brahms (1833–97), Academic Festival Overture, Op. 80 (1880) Camille Saint-Saëns (1835–1921), Piano Concerto No. 5 in F Major, Op. 103 (“Egyptian”) (1896) Jacques Ibert (1890–1962), Quatre Chansons de Don Quichotte (1932) Antonín Dvorák (1841–1904), Symphony No. 9 in E Minor, Op. 95 (“From the New World”) (1893) Sosnoff Theater, Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts. *Tickets are $20/$30/$35. Saturday, September 15 10:00 a.m.–noon John Ashbery: The Early Work Charles Bernstein on Rivers and Mountains Reginald Shepherd on Some Trees Susan Stewart on Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror Peter Gizzi, Moderator László Z. Bitó ’60 Auditorium, Gabrielle H. Reem and Herbert J. Kayden Center for Science and Computation 2:00–4:00 p.m. John Ashbery: The Later Work Robert Kelly on Chinese Whispers Joan Retallack on Girls on the Run Cole Swensen on Hotel Lautréamont Peter Gizzi, Moderator László Z. Bitó ’60 Auditorium, Gabrielle H. Reem and Herbert J. Kayden Center for Science and Computation 4:00 p.m. Reading by John Ashbery Ann Lauterbach, introduction Olin Hall Sunday, September 16 11:00 a.m. “Off-Center Intensity: Reflections on John Ashbery and the Visual Arts” A Talk by Jed Perl Reception to follow Avery Arts Center Theater *All events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted. Programs are subject to change. # # #

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This event was last updated on 09-17-2007