If you’re a big John Ashbery fan, you won’t want to miss the celebration at Bard College September 14-16. Details in this Bard College press release:

On September 14–16, to celebrate Ashbery’s 80th birthday and his remarkable career as a poet, critic, editor, and translator, Bard will host “This Feeling of Exaltation,” a weekend of poetry readings, panel discussions, and music at the College. Among those scheduled to participate are poets Charles Bernstein, Peter Gizzi, Robert Kelly, Ann Lauterbach, Joan Retallack, Reginald Shepherd, Susan Stewart, and Cole Swensen; writer and editor Bradford Morrow; art critic Jed Perl; and literary critic and scholar Susan Stewart. Highlights of the three-day celebration include a concert by the American Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Leon Botstein, on Friday, September 14. All events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.

Along with Frank O’Hara and Kenneth Koch, Ashbery is a central figure in what came to be known, in 1961, as the New York School of poets. His genre-breaking poetry and critical prose on the visual arts, music, film, literature, and culture have profoundly influenced artists, scholars, writers, and the public for decades. The recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the Pulitzer Prize, National Book Award, National Book Critics Circle Award, and Bollingen Prize in Poetry, as well as MacArthur, Guggenheim, and Fulbright fellowships, Ashbery remains today—more than half a century since the publication of his first book in 1953—one of the most innovative and defining voices of our times.

John Ashbery‘s recent books include A Worldly Country (2007), Where Shall I Wander (2005), Chinese Whispers (2002), Selected Prose (2004), and Other Traditions (the Norton Lecture at Harvard, 2000). He received the Pulitzer Prize, National Book Award, and National Book Critics Circle Award for Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror (1975). He was New York State Poet Laureate (2001–02), a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets (1988–99), and a MacArthur Fellow (1985–90). He received the Wallace Stevens Award from the Academy of American Poets (2001), Gold Medal for Poetry from the American Academy of Arts and Letters (1997), Robert Frost Medal from the Poetry Society of America (1995), and Antonio Feltrinelli International Prize for Poetry, Rome (1992), among other honors, and was made an officer of the Légion d’Honneur of the Republic of France by presidential decree (2002). He is currently Charles P. Stevenson Jr. Professor of Languages and Literature at Bard College.

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
“This Feeling of Exaltation”
Bard College Celebrates John Ashbery on the Occasion of his 80th Birthday
September 14–16, 2007
Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, N.Y.

Friday, September 14
4:00–6:00 p.m. Poetry Reading
Charles Bernstein, Peter Gizzi, Reginald Shepherd, Susan Stewart, and Cole Swensen
Bradford Morrow, introduction
(This event is funded in part by Poets & Writers, Inc., with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency.)
Theater Two, Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts

6:45 p.m. Preconcert Talk

Richard Wilson, American Symphony Orchestra Composer in Residence
Sosnoff Theater, Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts

8:00 p.m. American Symphony Orchestra*

Leon Botstein, Conductor
Johannes Brahms (1833–97), Academic Festival Overture, Op. 80 (1880)
Camille Saint-Saëns (1835–1921), Piano Concerto No. 5 in F Major, Op. 103 (“Egyptian”) (1896)
Jacques Ibert (1890–1962), Quatre Chansons de Don Quichotte (1932)
Antonín Dvorák (1841–1904), Symphony No. 9 in E Minor, Op. 95 (“From the New World”) (1893)
Sosnoff Theater, Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts. *Tickets are $20/$30/$35.

Saturday, September 15
10:00 a.m.–noon John Ashbery: The Early Work
Charles Bernstein on Rivers and Mountains
Reginald Shepherd on Some Trees
Susan Stewart on Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror
Peter Gizzi, Moderator
László Z. Bitó ’60 Auditorium, Gabrielle H. Reem and Herbert J. Kayden Center for Science and Computation

2:00–4:00 p.m. John Ashbery: The Later Work
Robert Kelly on Chinese Whispers
Joan Retallack on Girls on the Run
Cole Swensen on Hotel Lautréamont
Peter Gizzi, Moderator
László Z. Bitó ’60 Auditorium, Gabrielle H. Reem and Herbert J. Kayden Center for Science and Computation

4:00 p.m. Reading by John Ashbery
Ann Lauterbach, introduction
László Z. Bitó ’60 Auditorium, Gabrielle H. Reem and Herbert J. Kayden Center for Science and Computation

Sunday, September 16
11:00 a.m. “Off-Center Intensity: Reflections on John Ashbery and the Visual Arts”
A Talk by Jed Perl
Reception to follow
Avery Arts Center Theater
*All events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted. Programs are subject to change.