Né en 1927 à Rochester près de New York, fils de Chester Frederick et Helen Lawrence Ashbery, John Ashbery a fait des études de littérature anglaise et française aux collèges de Harvard et de Columbia. Il a enseigné aux USA et en France où il a vécu pendant dix ans et où il a été correspondant artistique du Herald Tribune. Il a collaboré à de nombreux magazines et revues comme rédacteur en chef ou critique, notamment au New York Herald Tribune, à Locus Solus, Art News et Newsweek. Il a été professeur à Harvard puis animateur d’ateliers d’écriture poétique au Bard College.

Il a...

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  • Turandot and other poems, N.Y Tibor de Nagy Gallery, 1953
  • Some trees (Yale Series of Younger poets), New Haven, Conn. Yale University Press, 1956/N.Y, Corinth Books, Ecco, 1978
  • The Poems, N.Y, Tiver Press, 1960
  • The Tennis Court Oath, Middletown, Conn, Wesleyan University Press, 1962
  • Rivers and Mountains, N.Y, Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1966 (nominated for National Book Award) / N.Y, Ecco, 1977
  • Selected Poems, London, Jonathan Cape, 1967
  • Three Madrigals, N.Y, Poet’s Press, 1968
  • Sunrise in Suburbia, N.Y, Phoenix Booshop, 1968
  • Fragment, Los Angeles, Black Sparrow Press, 1969
  • The Double Dream of Spring, N.Y, E.P Dutton, 1970
  • The New Spirit, N.Y., Adventures in Poetry, 1970
  • Penguin Modern Poets 19, Harmondsworth, Middlesex, England, Penguin, 1971 (with Harwood and Raworth)
  • Three Poems, N.Y, Viking, 1972/N.Y, Penguin, 1977/N.Y, Ecco, 1989
  • The Vermont Notebook, Los Angeles, Black Sparrow Press, 1975
  • Self-portrait in a convex mirror, N.Y, Viking, 1975 / N.Y, Penguin, 1976 / Harmondsworth, Middlesex, England, Penguin, 1977 / Special edition with prints by E&W de Kooning, Katz, Freilicher, Rivers, Kitaj, Dine and Avedon, San Francisco, Arion Press, 1984
  • Houseboat Days, N.Y, Viking, 1977 / N.Y, Penguin, 1976 / Manchester, England, Carcanet, 1977
  • As we know, N.Y, Viking, 1979 / Manchester, England, Carcanet, 1981
  • Shadow Train, N.Y, Viking, 1981 / N.Y, Penguin, 1981 / Manchester, England, Carcanet, 1982
  • A Wave, N.Y, Viking, 1984 / Penguin, 1984 / Manchester, England, Carcanet, 1984
  • Selected Poems, N.Y, Viking, 1985 / Penguin, 1986, Manchester, England, Carcanet, 1985 / London, England, Paladin-Grafton Books, 1987
  • April Galleons, N.Y, Viking, 1987 / N.Y, Penguin, 1988 / Manchester, England, Paladin-Grafton Books, 1990
  • Flow Chart, N.Y, Knopf, 1991 / Manchester, England, Carcanet, 1991 / N.Y., Knopf, 1992
  • Hotel Lautréamont, N.Y, Knopf, 1992 / Manchester, England, Carcanet, 1992
  • And the stars were shining, Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1993
  • Can you hear, bird, N.Y, Farrar Staus and Giroux, 1995
  • Girls on the Run, 1999
  • Your Name Here, 2000
  • As Umbrellas Follow Rain, 2001
  • Chinese Whispers, 2002.


  • Fairfield Porter, NY Graphic Society, 1983
  • R.B. Kitaj, with others, Thames and Hudson, 1983
  • Reported Sightings: Art Chronicles, 1957-1987, ed. David Bergman, Knopf, 1989 / Carcanet, 1989 / Harvard University Press, 1991
  • Other Traditions (The Charles Eliot Norton Lectures at Harvard), 2000.


  • A Nest of Ninnies, with James Schuyler, N.Y, E.P. Dutton, 1969 / Calais, Vermont, Z Press, 1976 / Manchester, England, Carcanet, 1987


  • 3 plays, Calais, Vermont, Z Press, 1978. Contains The Heroes, 1952 (produced by the Living Theatre, N.Y, 1952 ; Artist’s Theatre, N.Y, 1953 ; Eye and Ear Theatre, N.Y, 1981), The Compromise, 1955 (produced by the Poet’s Theatre, Cambridge, Mass., 1956), The Philosopher, ca. 1963 / Carcanet, 1988.


    Poetry, literary criticism, and art criticism, widely published in anthologies and periodicals ; texts for numerous exhibition catalogues ; edited and/or contributed forewords and introductions to a number of volumes ; poetry recorded on many commercially available discs
    Translations from French include : Jean-Jacques Mayoux, Melville, N.Y, Grove, 1960 ; Jacques Dupin, Alberto Giacometti, Paris, Maeght, 1963 ; Works of Pierre Reverdy, Arthur Cravan, Raymond Roussel, Max Jacob, Alfred Jarry, Antonin Artaud, André Breton, and others
    Poetry and criticism translated into : Czech, Danish, Flemish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Italian, Norwegian, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish and Dutch ; including the following monographs :
  • Fragment, Clepsydre, Poèmes français, Paris, Seuil, 1975, translation Michel Couturier.

  • Clepsydra, Caracas, Colecci n Breves, 1976, translation Fombena de Sucre (Fundarte Fundaci n para la cultura y las artes de Distrito Federal).

  • Selbsportrait im Konvexen Spiegel ; Gedichte 1956-1977, Munich, Carl Hanser, 1980, transl. Christa Cooper and Joachim Sartorius.

  • Autoritratto in uno specchio convesso, Milan, Garzanti, 1983, translation Aldo Busi.

  • 8 Poemas, Bogota, 1979, translation Jaime Manrique Ardila, et al.

Verses set to music by

Elliot Carter, Ned Rorem, Eric Salzman, Paul Reif, James Dashow.

Subject of many interviews and critical discussions, including :

  • Shapiro, David, John Ashbery: An Introduction to the Poetry, N.Y, Columbia University Press, 1979

  • Lehman, David, ed. Beyond Amazement: New Essays on John Ashbery, Ithaca, N.Y / London, Cornell University press, 1980

  • Bloom, Harold, Modern Critical Views : John Ashbery, New York, Chelsea House Publications, 1985

  • Kelly, Lionel, ed., Poetry and the Sense of Panic : Critical Essays on Elizabeth Bishop and John Ashbery, Amsterdam, Netherlands and Atlanta, GA, Rodopi, 2000.

Pour plus d’informations bibliographiques, se référer à A comprehensive bibliography, par David K. Kermani (N.Y, Garland, 1976, 244 p.)

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