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October 19, 2011

Pulitzer Prize-winning Poet John Ashbery to Read at Smith

Editor’s note: For a 300-dpi image of John Ashbery, e-mail

John AshberyNORTHAMPTON, Mass.—Smith College will present a reading by distinguished poet John Ashbery at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 1, in Weinstein Auditorium, Wright Hall. The reading is free and open to the public.

Ashbery has received nearly every major writing award the literary world has to offer, and his work has been translated into more than 25 languages. He first met critical acclaim with his 1956 collection “Some Trees,” which was selected by poet W. H. Auden for the Yale Younger Poets Series. In 1975 his work “Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror” received the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award and the National Book Award. His most recent volume, “Planisphere,” was praised by Boston Phoenix as “ the way that a beach is repetitive with sand, or the night sky is repetitive with stars.”

A native of Rochester, N.Y., Ashbery spent his high school years at Deerfield Academy, later attending Harvard University and going on to earn a master’s degree in French literature from Columbia University. A two-time Fulbright Scholar, he lived in Paris for a decade, where he wrote art criticism, returning to New York and continuing to work for ArtNews. His teaching career began with a long stint as co-director of the master of fine arts program in creative writing at Brooklyn College and included a year at Harvard and nearly two decades at Bard College.

Ashbery has served as a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets and poet laureate of New York. Among his innumerable awards and honors are a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, the Bollingen Prize and two Guggenheim fellowships. Retired now from teaching, Ashbery remains a prolific writer and an important presence in the literary world. He lives in New York with his partner, the writer David Kermani.

Ashbery’s reading will be followed by a book sale and signing. For further information, contact Ellen Doré Watson, director, at (413) 585-3368.

For disability access information or to request accommodations, call (413) 585-2407. To request a sign language interpreter specifically, call (413) 585-2071 (voice or TTY) or e-mail All requests must be made at least 10 days prior to the event

Office of College Relations
Smith College
Garrison Hall
Northampton, Massachusetts 01063

Marti Hobbes
News Assistant
T (413) 585-2190
F (413) 585-2174

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