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Release: April 9, 1999

Pulitzer, National Book Award winner Ashbery reads poetry at UI April 20

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winner John Ashbery will read from his new book of poems, "Girls on the Run," at 8 p.m. Tuesday, April 20 in Shambaugh Auditorium of the University of Iowa Main Library. Sponsored by the UI Writers' Workshop, the reading is free and open to the public.

"No one writing in the English language is likelier than Ashbery to survive the severe judgments of time . . . He is joining that American sequence that includes Whitman, Dickinson, Stevens and Hart Crane," critic Harold Bloom has written.

Paul Gray, writing in Time magazine, said "Ashbery's poems do not evade the real; they deny it the power to prevent other realities from being conceived."

And a Poetry magazine review speculated, "The chances are very good that [Ashbery] will come to dominate the last third of this century as Yeats dominated the first."

Ashbery is the author of 16 books of poetry, including "Can You Hear, Bird" and "The Mooring of Starting Out." His "Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror" received the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award and the National Book Award.

Ashbery now serves as the Charles P. Stevenson Jr. Professor of Languages and Literature at Bard College.

He has been named a Guggenheim Fellow, a MacArthur Fellow and a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. In 1995, he received the Poetry Society of America's Robert Frost Medal, the highest honor awarded by that institution.

Ashbery's UI visit is also supported by the Donald V. Walz and Winifred E. Walz Distinguished Visitor Series.