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The Double Dream of John Ashbery
Friday, September 16, 6:00 pmFree
A Double Publication Celebration
Join Monica de la Torre (poet who wrote the introduction for Something Close to Music), Dara Barrois/Dixon (poet who wrote an essay for the Fonograf Editions LP liner notes booklet), and Jeffrey Lependorf (editor of Something Close to Music and Executive Director of The Flow Chart Foundation) for reading, listening, and discussion. Discounted books and LPs will be available for purchase at the event.
About Something Close to Music: An intimate and unique collection of works of prolific poet and art critic (and longtime Hudson resident) John Ashbery pairing poetry and art writings with playlists of music from his personal library. This book places poetry by Ashbery, gathered from his later collections, in conversation with a selection of contemporaneous art writing. In addition, as Ashbery loved music and listened to it while writing, the “playlists” here present samplings of music from these same years, culled from his own library of recordings. Ashbery’s poetry is frequently described as ekphrastic, though, rather than writing a poem “based on” or “inspired” by the content of an artwork or piece of music, he engages with how the experience of seeing it or the artistic strategies employed offer ways of thinking about it and through it. Many observations from Ashbery’s art writing also provide keys to how we might read his poetry. In exploring this ekphratic book project, the reader is invited to discover how, for Ashbery, these three forms might illuminate and inform one another.
About John Ashbery Live at Sanders Theatre: In May of 1976, shortly after being awarded the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the Pulitzer Prize for Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror – a triple crown which, to his day, only he has – John Ashbery returned to his alma mater, Harvard University, to read new and selected poems. John Ashbery Live at Sanders Theatre, 1976 is forty-seven minutes of poems from Houseboat Dats, Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror, and The Double Dream of Spring. The record includes a 16-page liner notes booklet with essays by Douglas Crase, Dara Barrois/Dixon, and John Yau, along with archival material such as photographs of Ashbery’s annotated manuscripts and original artwork by R. B. Kitaj, Larry Rivers, and Ashbery himself. John Ashbery Live at Sanders Theatre, 1976 is the first in a series of archival LPs released by Fonograf Editions in collaboration with Harvard’s Woodberry Poetry Room.