OVERVIEW

The system of bibliographic codes described below has been adapted from the traditional bibliographic classification system used in David Kermani's John Ashbery: A Comprehensive Bibliography. Please note, however, that the system has been substantially altered to suit the purposes of this catalogue, which serves primarily to document the various types of material contained in the ARC archive. Although designed to be compatible with Kermani's work, this catalogue is not, in the strict sense, a conventional bibliography. 

For more detailed information on the bibliographic code field in general, and on differences between the organization of material in Kermani's bibliography and in this catalogue, see the bibliographic code field chapter of this manual. For more detailed information on specific bibliographic codes, including extended definitions and examples of materials, see the individual chapters of this manual dedicated to particular bibliographic sections. 

NOTE: Codes A - J refer to works by Ashbery; codes K - N refer to works about, influenced by, or related to Ashbery. Further details about each of the bibliographic codes can be found in the complete instruction manual.

A — Books, pamphlets and broadsides by or translated by Ashbery, including fine art editions and collaborations. Section A includes works of poetry, fiction, miscellaneous prose, etc., but excludes writing about art (see Section E) and translations of Ashbery's work that are published bilingually (i.e., in which the original work in English is published simply to accompany the translated text; see Section G). Section A materials are those for which Ashbery is the primary author or primary translator. Ashbery's collections of poetry and prose make up the bulk of Section A. 

Generally, only the earliest publication in a particular format of any work available in the ARC archive is given a complete citation in the catalogue. Subsequent printings or editions of books usually are mentioned in the notes field of the entry for the earliest available edition. 

Examples of Section A material:

  • Some Trees, 1956 (collection of poems by Ashbery) 

  • The Poems, 1960 (fine art edition, with poems by Ashbery and prints by Joan Mitchell) 

  • John Ashbery and Kenneth Koch: A Conversation, 1965 [?] (collaborative interview published in pamphlet form) 

  • A Nest of Ninnies, 1969 (novel, written collaboratively by Ashbery and James Schuyler) 

  • "What Is Poetry," 1977 (poem by Ashbery, published as a broadside) 

  • The Landscape is Behind the Door, 1994 (collection of poems by Pierre Martory, translated from the French by Ashbery) 

  • Chinese Whispers, 2002 (collection of poems by Ashbery) 

  • Selected Prose, 2004 (collection of prose pieces by Ashbery)

B — Books and pamphlets with contributions by or translated by Ashbery. Usually must be the first publication of Ashbery's work in book form in a given country for the item to be included in Section B. Including poetry, fiction, miscellaneous prose, etc. Excluding writing about art (see E). Excluding translations of Ashbery's work that are published bilingually (see G). 

— Contributions to periodicals and newspapers by or translated by Ashbery. Usually must be the first publication of Ashbery's work in periodical form in a given country for the item to be included in Section C. Including poetry, fiction, miscellaneous prose, etc., in journals, magazines, e-zines, etc. Excluding writing about art (see F). Excluding translations of Ashbery's work that are published bilingually (see G).  

— Books, periodicals and series edited or with works selected by Ashbery. Including materials that document situations in which Ashbery served as a judge, juror or nominator in a competition. Excluding Ashbery's choices or preferences in an informal context (see J1). 

— Writing about art, by or translated by Ashbery, in books, exhibition catalogues and announcements. Writing about art includes writing about architecture, film, the decorative arts, etc. Section E items usually represent the first publication of a particular text as a "separate" (i.e., not in serial or periodical format). Texts reprinted from another book or exhibition catalogue usually are not given separate citations in Section E, but may be mentioned in the notes field of the original citation. Texts reprinted from a periodical (Section F) in a book or exhibition catalogue for the first time will appear in Section E. 

Whether or not an item belongs in Section E is determined by the type or subject of the text itself, rather than the nature of the publication in which it appears. For example, art books and exhibition catalogues including poems by Ashbery, but not writing about art, will be listed in Section B rather than Section E. 

Examples of Section E material:

  • Red Grooms: A Retrospective, 1985 (exhibition catalogue including Ashbery's essay "Red's Hero Sandwich") 

  • Rodrigo Moynihan, 1988 (exhibition catalogue including a foreword by Ashbery) 

  • Pistils, 1996 (a book of Robert Mapplethorpe's flower photographs, including an introduction by Ashbery) 

  • Untitled Passages by Henri Michaux, 2000 (book including an interview with artist Henri Michaux, conducted by Ashbery)

F  — Writing about art, by or translated by Ashbery, in newspapers and periodicals. Writing about art includes writing about architecture, film, the decorative arts, etc. 

— Translations of Ashbery's work. 

— Interviews with Ashbery. 

— Miscellaneous work by Ashbery, ranging from Ashbery's miscellaneous published remarks and blurbs, to recordings of Ashbery reading his work, visual artwork by Ashbery, and documentation of Ashbery's performances in plays and films. Section J includes categories J1, J2, J3, J4 and J5. 

Note: Although most citations in this catalogue are written for the actual physical material housed in the ARC archive, some citations have been created for missing primary items based on documentation of those items from secondary material in the ARC archive. Such citations appear throughout the catalogue, but primarily in Sections J and K, which include many entries for non-print items (visual art, film, musical compositions, etc.). These entries for phantom materials are clearly identified in the notes field of the citation, as is the nature of the documentation from which the information is drawn. Please refer to the individual chapters on Sections J1–5 in this instruction manual for information about other idiosyncrasies. 

J1 — Ashbery's miscellaneous writings and published remarks, including brief published correspondence and informal selections for features such as "Bedtime Reading" or "Poem of the Millennium." 

J2 — Blurbs written by Ashbery as promotion for other authors' works. 

J3 — Audio or video recordings of Ashbery reading his work or delivering a lecture or other such public presentation. Excluding performances in plays or films (see J5).

For Ashbery's performances in plays or films, see Section J5.

Usually, only the first recording or release of Section J3 items is given a complete citation. All subsequent issues of a recording usually are mentioned in the notes field of the citation. 

Examples of Section J3 material:

  • The Poetry of John Ashbery, 1967 (audio tape recording of Ashbery reading at the 92 nd St. Y) 

  • Disconnected: The Dial-A-Poem Poets, 1969 (LP recording including Ashbery reading from "The Tennis Court Oath") 

  • [untitled], 1971 (unreleased CD recording of Ashbery reading at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture) 

  • [untitled], 1979 (unreleased audio tape recording of Ashbery lecturing on Giorgio de Chirico at the St. Mark's Poetry Project) 

  • Exact Change Yearbook 1995, 1995 (CD recording including Ashbery reading his poem "'They Dream Only of America'")  

  • Ginsberg and Friends, 1999 (video tape including footage of Ashbery reading at Sotheby's). 

J4 — Visual artwork created by Ashbery. 

Usually each artwork or group of related artworks is given a single citation, and all supplementary materials documenting the artwork (reproductions, exhibition catalogues, reviews, announcements, etc.) are listed in the notes field of that citation. 

Examples of Section J4 material:

  • [untitled collage by Ashbery and Frederick Amory], c. 1948 

  • Mantlepiece [oil-on-canvas painting by Ashbery], 1955 

  • L'Heure Exquise [collage by Ashbery], c. 1970s 

  • [untitled self-portrait drawing by Ashbery], c. 1970s

J5 — Ashbery's performances in plays and films. 

Usually each performance is given a single citation, and all supplementary materials documenting the performance (scripts, advertisements, programs, recordings, etc.) are listed in the notes field of that citation. 

Examples of Section J5 material 

  • Mounting Tension [film directed by Rudy Burckhardt; Ashbery plays one of the leads], 1950 

  • Try! Try! [play by Frank O'Hara; Ashbery played a role in the production at the Poets' Theatre, Cambridge, MA], c. 1951 [?] 

  • The Tinguely Machine Mystery, or The Love Suicides at Kaluka, [play by Kenneth Koch; Ashbery played the role of the speaking Sailor in the production at the Jewish Museum, New York, NY], 1965-12-22 

  • City Junket [play by Kenward Elmslie; Ashbery participated in a reading of Elmslie's play at Rice University, Houston, TX], c. 1974

— Ashberiana. Work created independently by others that is based on, influenced by, or otherwise directly related to Ashbery or his work. (NB: Most collaborations with other artists in which Ashbery has played an active role are in Sections A, B, and C, but unusual items may be listed here as well.) Section K includes categories for cinema (K1), literature (K2), music (K3), theater (K4), and visual art (K5). 

Note: Although most citations in this catalogue are written for the actual physical material housed in the ARC archive, some citations have been created for missing primary items based on documentation of those items from secondary material in the ARC archive. Such citations appear throughout the catalogue, but primarily in Sections J and K, which include many entries for non-print items (visual art, film, musical compositions, etc.). These entries for phantom materials are clearly identified in the notes field of the citation, as is the nature of the documentation from which the information is drawn. Please refer to the individual chapters on Sections K1–5 in this instruction manual for information about other idiosyncrasies.  

K1 — Cinema. Films based on, influenced by, or otherwise directly related to Ashbery or his work. Section K1 also includes works created for television or radio, and animations. These works may involve creative manipulation of film footage of Ashbery, the use of passages from his work, a character named "John Ashbery," etc. 

Interviews with Ashbery that have been filmed are in Section H; filmed readings or lectures by Ashbery are in Section J3; Ashbery's own performances in films are in Section J5; and theatrical / stage interpretations of Ashbery's work are in Section K4. 

Although Section K1 items are generally documented in the ARC archive by secondary materials such as reviews and announcements, rather than by the films themselves, each citation is written for the cinematic work itself. The title of the film is listed in the title and publication fields, the director and/or screenwriter is listed in the author and author/editor fields, and the date of the film's creation or original release is listed in the date of publication field. All information about the secondary materials that document these films is given in the notes field. 

Examples of Section K1 material:

  • Filmmaker Rudy Burckhardt's movie Indelible, Inedible, 1983 (incorporates lines from Ashbery's poem of the same title) 

  • Filmmaker Nathaniel Dorsky's body of work, c. 2000 (in an interview in the Poetry Project Newsletter, 2001 February-March, Dorsky discusses Ashbery's influence on his films) 

K2 — Literature. Poems or fictions based on, influenced by, or otherwise directly related to Ashbery or his work. 

K3 — Music. Compositions based on, influenced by, or otherwise directly related to Ashbery or his work. 

K4 — Theater. Theatrical works (plays, opera, dance, etc.) based on, iinfluenced by, or otherwise directly related to Ashbery or his work. These performance pieces may include a character "John Ashbery," characters who quote from Ashbery's work, etc.  

Although Section K4 items are generally documented in the ARC archive by secondary materials such as programs, reviews and announcements, rather than by recordings or films of the performances or publications of the plays themselves, each citation is written for the theatrical work itself. The title of the work is listed in the title and publication fields, the creator of the work is listed in the author and author/editor fields, and the date of the work's creation, premiere or first publication is listed in the date of publication field. All information about the secondary materials that document these works is given in the notes field. 

Examples of Section K4 material:

  • Frank O'Hara and Larry Rivers' play "Surprising J.A.," featuring the character "John Ashbery," 1952-10-00 

  • David Hirson's play "Wrong Mountain," featuring references in the dialogue to an offstage character "John Ashbery," c. 1999 

  • Professor Bob Holman and his Bard College undergraduate Integrated Arts seminar's "Girls on the Run," a theatrical reinterpretation of Ashbery's book-length poem of the same title, c. 2001 Spring 

K5 — Visual art. Artworks based on, influenced by, or otherwise directly related to Ashbery or his work, including portraits of Ashbery.  

— Critical responses to Ashbery's work, ranging from critical essays and book reviews to others' selections of Ashbery's work in informal competitions or compilations, and pedagogical applications of Ashbery's work in the classroom. Section L includes categories L1, L2, L3 and L4.

L1 — Discussion of Ashbery's work in general, in books, dissertations, journals, lectures and public presentations, etc.  

L2 — Book reviews of specific collections of Ashbery's work. These texts usually are written to coincide with the publication of Ashbery's books, and are essentially judgmental discussions of individual titles. (Please keep in mind, however, that these reviews of specific volumes may include substantive general information about Ashbery, his career and milieu.) 

To search for reviews of a particular book, you should choose L2 in the bibliographic code search field and then enter the name of that book in the notes field. 

For formal critical writing on Ashbery's work, see Section L1.

Usually, only the first publication of Section L2 items, whether in books or periodicals, is given a complete citation. All known reprints usually are mentioned in the notes field of the citation.  \

Examples of Section L2 material:

  • Brian Taylor's review of Ashbery's poetry collection Houseboat Days, in the newspaper St. Louis Globe Democrat, 1977-09-24 

  • Helen Vendler's review of Ashbery's poetry collection A Wave, in the periodical New York Review of Books, 1984-06-14 

  • Killarney Clary's review of Ashbery's collection of writing about art, Reported Sightings, in the periodical Yale Review, 1990 November-Spring  

  • Linda Gregerson's review of Ashbery's poetry collection And the Stars Were Shining, in the newspaper supplement New York Times Book Review, 1994-10-23 

L3 — Other authors' or public figures' selections of Ashbery or his work in informal competitions or compilations in which, for example, Ashbery is selected by another author or public/cultural figure as a "Favorite Writer" or "Poet of the Year," or in which one of Ashbery's poems or collections is cited in a "Best Books of the Millennium" feature, a "Best Bedtime Reading" list, etc. 

Usually, only the first publication of Section L3 items, whether in books or periodicals, is given a complete citation. All known reprints usually are mentioned in the notes field of the citation. 

Examples of Section L3 material:

  • Harry Mathews' selection of A Nest of Ninnies, a novel by Ashbery and James Schuyler, as part of Mathews' contribution to the "Neglected Books of the Twentieth Century" feature in the periodical Antaeus, 1977 Autumn

  • A.R. Ammons' selection of Ashbery's poem "The Painter" (Some Trees), Jorie Graham and Charles Simic's selection of "Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror" (Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror), John Hollander's selection of "Soonest Mended" (The Double Dream of Spring), David Lehman's selection of "The Skaters" (Rivers and Mountains), and James Tate's selection of Flow Chart, for the "Best American Poetry of the Twentieth Century" feature in the anthology TheBest American Poetry, 2000 

L4 — Pedagogical material related to the use of Ashbery's work in the classroom, such as syllabi and curricula, essay questions and exercises for students, student papers and pastiches, reflections on teaching Ashbery's work, etc. 

Usually, only the first publication of Section L4 items, whether in books or periodicals, is given a complete citation. All known reprints usually are mentioned in the notes field of the citation.  

Examples of Section L4 material:

  • Commentary, classroom exercises and pastiches by children accompany reprints of two poems by Ashbery in Kenneth Koch's 1973 textbook anthology Rose, Where Did You Get That Red?: Teaching Great Poetry to Children

  • Bill Berkson's article "Teaching Poetry to Kids at the Bolinas-Stinson School" in the periodical New(1977-01-00) includes an account of Berkson's experience using Ashbery's work to teach poetry to children. 

  • Dr. Daniel Kane and Dr. Scott MacKenzie's concept and syllabus for an MA seminar entitled "Visual and Verbal Avant-Gardes in New York Poetry and Cinema of the 1950s-1970s," online at the website of the University of East Anglia [United Kingdom] School of English and American Studies (c. 2003) includes a classroom framework for investigating the connections between the "New American Cinema" and the work of New York School poets including Ashbery. 

— Anthologies. Books containing work by or translated by Ashbery that has been previously published in book form. (Anthologies that constitute the first publication of Ashbery's work in book form will be found in Sections B or E.)  

— Miscellaneous biographical and contextual information about Ashbery's life and work, ranging from miscellaneous references to Ashbery in print, to biographical information and material that relates to the artistic movements, time periods, or social milieu of which he has been a part. Section N includes categories N1, N2, and N3.

N1 — Miscellaneous publications that contain miscellaneous passing references to Ashbery or his work. Sometimes surprising or amusing, these references to Ashbery, in various contexts ranging from literature to pop music, theology, and the American economy, appear in an array of publications including the New Yorker, the Village Voice and the New York Times, as well as the New York PostVanity FairVogueGQMen's HealthSpy, etc. While each individual reference may seem relatively insignificant, when considered cumulatively this body of material documents the widening sphere in which Ashbery is evoked as a useful point of reference; in a more general sense it indicates the degree to which poetry has a tangible presence in modern media and identifies various points at which poetry intersects with the collective popular consciousness. 

When references to Ashbery appear in publications that also include work of greater bibliographic/archival significance (for example, those that also include a poem by or essay about Ashbery), that reference may not be cited separately in Section N1, but may only be mentioned in the notes field of the citation of the more important work. 

Usually, only the first publication of Section N1 items, whether in books or periodicals, is given a complete citation. All known reprints usually are mentioned in the notes field of the citation. 

For publications that make passing reference to Ashbery but also give information about the larger contexts that are relevant to his life and work (the New York Schools of poets and painters, the Paris art world of the 1960s, kitsch and colloquialism, etc.), see Section N3. 

Examples of Section N1 material: 

  • New York Times Magazine, 1986-06-20 (newspaper supplement including a reference to Ashbery as a graduate of Harvard University) 

  • Rolling Stone, 1996-11-28 (periodical including a reference to Ashbery as an influence on Stephen Malkmus of the band Pavement) 

  • The Gay Metropolis 1940-1996, 1997 (book including a reference to Ashbery as a homosexual in New York City) 

  • GQ, 1997-01-00 (periodical including a reference to Ashbery as the favorite poet of X-Files actor David Duchovny) 

  • New York Times, 1997-12-07 (newspaper including a reference to Ashbery as an author whose books are frequently stolen from Morningside Heights bookstores) 

  • Atlanta, 1999-10-00 (periodical including a quotation from Ashbery's poem "Some Trees" in the article "A Requiem for Suburbia") 

  • Hudson Valley, 2001-03-00 (periodical including a reference to Ashbery as an opponent of the proposed Saint Lawrence Cement plant in Hudson, NY) 

  • New York Post, 2001-09-27 (periodical including a reference to Ashbery as one example of an intelligent American)  

  • New York Times Magazine, 2003-06-08 (Sunday newspaper supplement quoting Ashbery's poetry with regard to the state of the American economy) 

N2 — Miscellaneous biographical information concerning events in Ashbery's life and his family history. 

N3 — Contextual information that relates less to Ashbery directly than to the artistic movements, time periods, or social milieu of which he has been a part (e.g. the New York School of poets and painters, the Parisian art world of the 1960s, the mixture of popular culture and fine art, etc.). It includes publications that contain contextual information about Ashbery and his work. Usually, only the first publication of Section N3 items, whether in books or periodicals, is given a complete citation. All known reprints usually are mentioned in the notes field of the citation. 

Examples of Section N3 material:

  • Margins, 1974 October-November (periodical including an article on the New York School) 

  • The Green Fuse, 1989 (memoir by New York City arts patron Lita Hornick) 

  • London Review of Books, 2000-06-20 (periodical including an article with information on Frank O'Hara and C Comics

  • Restless Lives: The Bohemian World of Rodrigo and Elinor Moynihan, 2002 (biography including information about the lives of Ashbery's friends and contemporaries, artists Rodrigo Moynihan and Anne Moynihan [née Anne Dunn]) 

P  — Information about Ashbery's domestic environments, including creative and critical conjectures about possible relationships between those environments and Ashbery's work. Section P includes publications that contain information about the domestic environments that Ashbery has created: the architecture, furnishings, collections, etc.

Usually, only the first publication of Section P items, whether in books or periodicals, is given a complete citation. All known reprints usually are mentioned in the notes field of the citation. 

Examples of Section P material:

  • American Victorian, 1984 (book including photos of the staircase, library and dining room of Ashbery's Hudson home) 

  • Times-Union, 1985-12-22 (newspaper including a photo of Ashbery's home with an article about the revival of the city of Hudson) 

  • Register-Star, 1998-10-08 (newspaper including a reference to Historic Hudson's nomination of Ashbery for the Long-Term [Home] Preservation Award)  

  • Nest, 2003 Summer (periodical including "Heavenly Days [Illuminated]," a collaboration between Ashbery and visual artist Archie Rand, wherein Rand painted a series of panels depicting various places and objects in Ashbery's Hudson home, inspired by Ashbery's poem "Heavenly Days," and Ashbery in turn selected various lines or line fragments from his poem to match with Rand's panels; this publication is also categorized in Sections C and K5)