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A Tribute To John Ashbery

A Tribute To John Ashbery

March 26, 2020 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

No figure looms as large in American poetry over the past 50 years as John Ashbery.—Langdon Hammer, Yale University

Howl! Happening and White Rabbit magazine present a tribute to John Ashbery. Considered one of the most influential poets of our time, White Rabbit dedicates its latest issue, No. 6, to Ashbery and poet and humanitarian Colette Inez, who both passed away in 2017. The event includes readings by featured poets of Ashbery’s work and their own, a short film of Ashbery reading, and a reception. Readers and contributors include John Godfrey, Bob Holman, Ann Waldman (one of her poems will be read), George Wallace, Yuko Otomo, Anthony Haden-Guest, Stephen Paul Miller, Jeffrey Wright, Tom Savage, Anton Yakovlev, and others. The reading will be introduced by Dorothy Friedman August and Ron Kolm.

John Ashbery is acknowledged as an extraordinary poet of rare literary gifts. He published more than 20 volumes of poetry and has won nearly every major American award for poetry, including the Pulitzer Prize for his collection Self Portrait in a Convex Mirror. Renowned for his postmodern complexity and opacity, his work is still controversial. Stephanie Burt, poet and Harvard professor of English, has compared Ashbery to T. S. Eliot, calling Ashbery “the last figure whom half the English-language poets alive thought a great model, and the other half thought incomprehensible.” Ashbery said he wished his work to be accessible to as many people as possible, but he once joked that some critics still view him as “a harebrained, homegrown surrealist whose work defies even the logic and rules of surrealism.”

White Rabbit is a literary magazine of the arts founded by Dorothy Friedman August in 2012. “A labor of love,” issue No. 6 is dedicated to a vibrant diverse group of inspirational poets, including poet, activist, and co-founder of The Living Theater Judith Malina; actor, performer, and self-acclaimed “Son of Andy Warhol” Taylor Mead; poet and gay activist Bill Kushner; as well as Ashbery and Inez.

White Rabbit is a compilation magazine that has showcased writing and art by Anne Waldman, Bob Holman, Elaine Equi, Jerome Sala, Gary Azon, Bill Kushner, Judith Malina, David Lehman, Colette Inez, George Wallace, Yuko Otomo, Bill Zavatsky, Charles Bernstein, Ann Lauterbach, Jill Hoffman, Bruce Andrews, Anthony Haden-Guest, Michael Andre, Taylor Mead, Mark Kostabi, John Godfrey, Sharon Mesmer, Stephen Paul Miller, Star Black, Tom Savage, Jeffrey C. Wright, Anton Yakovlev, and many others.

Dorothy Friedman August, poet, and editor of White Rabbit, was fortunate to have studied with Mr. Ashbery in Brooklyn College. Friedman August is an award-winning, widely published poet who has won two New York Foundation for the Arts fellowships and a Kathy Acker Award. She has published three books of poetry, including Family Album, reviewed by Daisy Aldan in the Small Press Review, and The Liberty Years. Her fourth book of poems The L Shaped Room will be published in 2020 by Poets Wear Prada, and another collection, Drinking Alaska, will be published by Autonomedia.

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