If you believe in LOA’s mission and would like to support our activities in a substantial way, nothing is more helpful than endowing a volume in the series to keep it permanently in print. Your gift will have prominent recognition in the book, and as a Guardian of American Letters you will make a lasting contribution to American culture.John Ashbery: Collected Poems 1956–1987. This inaugural volume in Library of America’s Ashbery edition collects the poet’s first twelve books, from Some Trees, which W. H. Auden selected for the Yale Younger Poets series in 1956, to Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror, winner of the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1976, on through April Galleons in 1987. With the addition of sixty-five uncollected poems Ashbery wrote between 1945 and 1990, the volume traces his artistic development over several decades in which his playful, restless experimentalism and his infallible ear for American speech delighted generations of poetry lovers and inspired countless fellow poets.
“The chances are very good that John Ashbery will come to dominate the last third of the [twentieth] century as Yeats dominated the first,” Harold Bloom declared when Ashbery’s 1970 collection The Double Dream of Spring (included here) was published. Upon the poet’s death in 2017, Helen Vendler wrote: “John Ashbery taught me a new way of reading verse.”
A fully tax-deductible contribution of $75,000 to the Guardians of American Letters Fund will help to keep these essential works of contemporary American poetry in print and available to future generations of readers.