Led by council speaker Christine Quinn, members of the New York City Council recently honored poet John Ashbery for his “literary and cultural contributions” by designating April 7 as “John Ashbery Day” in the city.
The proclamation coincides with the Ashbery Festival at New York’s New School. The event, which takes place on April 6 to April 8, features readings by Ashbery and other poets, including Mark Bibbins, Billy Collins, Daniel Halpern, Bob Holman, Ann Lauterbach, Ron Padgett, James Tate, and Susan Wheeler, and a staged reading of Ashbery’s one-act play The Heroes.
Ashbery, who lives in New York City and Hudson, New York, has published more than twenty poetry collections, including Where Shall I Wander (Ecco, 2005), Girls on the Run (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1999), and Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror (Penguin, 1976). He is the recipient of the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the Bollingen Prize, the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize, and fellowships from the Academy of American Poets, the Fulbright Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the MacArthur Foundation. He currently serves as the Charles P. Stevenson Jr. Professor of Languages and Literature at Bard College.