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THE JOHN ASHBERY POETRY SERIES AT BARD COLLEGE PRESENTS TWO READINGS DURING THE MONTH OF NOVEMBER Program on November 9 features poets Jonathan Williams and Thomas Meyer; November 16 reading features Juliana Spahr and Bill Luoma

Emily Darrow

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.?The John Ashbery Poetry Series at Bard College will present two readings during the month of November. Poets Jonathan Williams and Thomas Meyer will read from their recent works on Friday, November 9, and poets Juliana Spahr and Bill Luoma will read from their works on Friday, November 16. Both programs, presented by The Bard Center, begin at 3:30 p.m. in Room 102 of the Olin Humanities Building and are free and open to the public.

Jonathan Williams, a champion of the avant-garde who once listed his occupations as "poet, publisher, designer, essayist, iconographer," was born in Asheville, North Carolina, and has spent most of his life on a farm in the western part of that state. He was educated at St. Albans School, Princeton University, and Black Mountain College, and also studied art and design at the Institute of Design in Chicago.

"This master of anathema has also a sense of wonder and awe at human quality, at the surviving marvels of landscape on both sides of the Atlantic and at the metaphoric power of both words and music," wrote New York Times critic John Russell about Williams, who is the author of more than 50 books, including An Ear in Bartram's Tree, Blues and Roots/Rue and Bluets, The Loco Logodaedalist in Situ, and Elite/Elate Poems. Among his many honors are a Guggenheim Foundation fellowship, numerous grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, and the 1977 North Carolina Award in Fine Arts.

Williams is strongly identified with the Black Mountain group of poets?experimenting with subject matter, form, word combinations, and mood evocation. He founded Jargon Press in 1951 to publish the work of neglected poets, especially those associated with Black Mountain College. The press has become one of the most active small publishers in the United States, introducing such writers as Charles Olson, Kenneth Patchen, Denise Levertov, Paul Metcalf, and many others to a wider audience.

Thomas Meyer, '69, is the assistant director of the Jargon Society, which was founded by Williams in 1951. John Ashbery has said of Meyers's poetry that his "beautiful takes on German romantic poetry take one far, to unexpected destinations that often turn out to be essences of the poems . . ." Since 1968 Meyer has been involved with the editing, production, and design of over 50 titles in the Jargon series. His recent publications of poetry include Cinc Jardins, Fourteen Poems, Tom Writes This For Robert To Read, and At Dusk Iridescent (A Gathering of Poems 1971-1996). Much of his time over the past decade was taken up by three collaborations with the late Sandra Fisher: Sappho, Sonnets & Tableaux, and Monotypes & Tracings. Meyer lives in the mountains of western North Carolina and in the Yorkshire Dales. He has translated works from ancient Chinese and Sanskrit, and he studies Vedic astrology. He has received grants from the National Endowment of the Arts and was the recipient of the Ingram-Merrill Award for Poetry in 1982.

Juliana Spahr, a leading poet-critic of her generation, is the author of Everybody's Autonomy, bringing reader-response theory into the realm of cultural poetics. Other books include Response, Spiderwasp or Literary Criticism, Live, and most recently F*** You?Aloha?I Love You. Spahr teaches at the University of Hawaii, Manoa, and is founding coeditor (with Jena Osman) of Chain.

Bill Luoma is a classicist and involved with the practical poetics of computer science. His humor is renowned in the Pacific Rim as well as on the East Coast. He is the author of three books of poetry, Works & Days, Western Love, and Swoon Rocket. He lives in Brooklyn (and sometimes Honolulu), and says he "writes computer programs like Peacenick version 1.2."

For further information about the readings, call The Bard Center at 845-758-7425.

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This event was last updated on 10-29-2001