was born in Rochester, New York on 28 July 1927. He graduated in 1949 with an A.B., cum laude, from Harvard, where he and Robert Creeley were classmates. He received an M.A. from Columbia in 1951, went to France as a Fulbright Scholar in 1955, and lived and worked there for most of the next decade. Best known as a poet, he has published numerous collections, beginning in 1953.
Ashbery has won nearly every major American award for poetry. His collection A Wave
(1984) won the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize; Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror
(1975) received the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the National Book Award; and Some Trees
(1956) was selected by W. H. Auden
for the Yale Younger Poets Series.
His most recent volumes include Your Name Here
(2000), Chinese Whispers
(2002), Where Shall I Wander
(2005), and A Worldly Country
He was also the first English-language poet to win the Grand Prix de Biennales Internationales de Poésie, and has also received the Bollingen Prize, the English Speaking Union Prize, the Feltrinelli Prize, the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, two Ingram Merrill Foundation grants, the MLA Common Wealth Award in Literature, the Harriet Monroe Memorial Prize, the Frank O'Hara Prize, the Shelley Memorial Award, and fellowships from the Academy of American Poets, the Fulbright Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the MacArthur Foundation.
A former Chancellor of The Academy of American Poets, Ashbery is currently the Charles P. Stevenson, Jr., Professor of Languages and Literature at Bard College. He divides his time between New York City and Hudson, New York.