Charles Olson



John Ashbery’s Humane Abstractions

JAIn the context of John Ashbery’s long career it is possible to a claim a particular significance for that book. Published in 1970, it was the first volume he wrote after re-settling in the United States in 1965, having lived in Paris for the best part of a decade. It was also the book in which he arrived at a kind of poem – ‘Soonest Mended’ is an example, but so are several others, ‘Evening in the Country’, say, or ‘The Bungalows’ – that established a way of configuring voice, narrative trajectory, human relations and cultural reference that would become recognisable as characteristically Ashberyan.

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Robert Wood Interviews Alan Loney

I first met Alan Loney at the University of Pennsylvania in 2004. I was studying there at the time and Alan had been invited as a guest of Robert Creeley at SUNY Buffalo. As part of his American tour Charles Bernstein hosted Alan at Penn, where he gave a reading at the Kelly Writers House and met with students of Charles’ experimental writing class entitled ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind’.

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