Some Poet. In the 50 years since his first book was published, John Ashbery has led the avant garde"s poetry coup d"etat. By Andrew Varnon. Valley Advocate.
Today, with formalist poet Dana Gioia as head of the National Endowment for the Arts and Nebraskan poet Ted Kooser the Poet Laureate of the United States, there is again a call for accessible poetry. I asked Ashbery about this. "I myself have always enjoyed things that it seemed to me were inaccessible, that have the promise of giving you something that you have to work hard to find out what it is," he said. "I like the challenge of, say, Proust or even Gertrude Stein, to use one of the most obvious examples, rather than poetry or literature which is all available at one viewing or reading."