Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Jill Krementz Photo Journal - The Paris Review Revel

John Ashbery, (b.1927) has charmed, baffled, provoked and moved readers while immeasurably expanding the boundaries of modern poetry. An eminent art critic (and collagist) as well as a novelist, playwright, translator, and professor, he writes with the unpredictable, constantly shifting perceptions of a painter. His best-known collection, Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror (1975), was inspired by the Renaissance painter Parmigianino. He is seen here (both photographs) in his Chelsea Apartment sitting beneath The Painting Table, a 1954 work by close friend, Jane Freilicher.
John Ashbery Receives Hadada Award from The Paris Review

On Monday evening, April 13th, The Paris Review held its 2009 Spring Revel at Cipriani 42nd Street. Co-chaired by Sally Quinn and Ben Bradlee, the honoree of the evening was John Ashbery. For people who love books ... the annual fundraiser is always the best benefit of the year.
The invitation for The Paris Review's Spring Revel, April 13, 2009. Both the inside and outside covers feature Victorian collages by John Ashbery, which were exhibited at Tibor de Nagy Gallery.
Zadie Smith. John Ashbery, David Kermani, and Maxine Groffsky.
Tommy Caplan and James Salter. Paul Muldoon, poet and poetry editor of The New Yorker magazine, presented the evening's highest award to John Ashbery -- calling him "the granddaddy of us all."
Ellen McCourt. Sarah Dudley Plimpton and Patricia Birch. Uzodinma Iweala. James Lipton.
Paul Auster and his wife, Siri Hustvedt. Artist Archie Rand with John Ashbery. Mr. Rand is collaborating with the poet on a book, "Heavenly Days (Illuminated)," which will be published in the fall. The book will feature 47 portraits of Ashbery's Hudson House accompanied by a text extracted from Ashbery's poem, Heavenly Days, which was originally published in the poet's book, "Chinese Whispers."
Ken Auletta and Ben Bradlee. Mary Karr. Stacey McDonell kissing Peter Matthiessen.
Martin Garbus. Erroll McDonald. Caroline Petersen and Nalini Jones.
Janine di Giovanni and Felix Rohatyn. Peter Becker and Kedakai Lipton.
Philip Gourevitch, Editor of The Paris Review, welcomes guests to the Revel 2009. Zadie Smith presents the Plimpton Prize for fiction (an ostrich egg) to South African Alistair Morgan. Alistair Morgan thanks the judges for his ostrich egg.
Remarks by Sally Quinn and Ben Bradlee, who were co-chairs of the evening.
Terry McDonell. Sophie Cabot Black. Gary Shteyngart and Rachel Cobb.
The evening ended with a conversation between Paul Muldoon and the honoree of the evening, John Ashbery. Mr. Ashbery read a few of his poems.
Sophie Cabot Black, Sarah Dudley Plimpton, and Jeanne McCulloch. Rue Matthiessen and her father, Peter Matthiessen.
Bruce Jay Friedman and Alison Becker. Photographer, Denise Ofelia Mangen with Nathaniel Rich, novelist and Senior Editor at The Paris Review.
Zadie Smith and Uzodinma Iweala.
One of the table favors (left) and contents of the goody bags.
February 8, 1975 March 14, 1995.
"I can’t really work at night. Nor in the morning very much, when I have more ideas but am less critical of them, it seems ... On the whole, I believe I have fewer hang-ups and rituals than I used to. I feel blocked much less often, though it still happens. It’s important to try to write when you are in the wrong mood or the weather is wrong. Even if you don’t succeed you’ll be developing a muscle that may do it later on. And I think writing does get easier as you get older. It’s a question of practice and also of realizing you don’t have the oceans of time to waste you had when you were young." — John Ashbery
February 8, 1975 March 14, 1995.
“This is the way that life appears to me, the way that experience happens. I can concentrate on the things in this room and our talking together, but what the context is is mysterious to me. And it’s not that I want to make it more mysterious in my poems — really, I just want to make it more photographic.” — Issue 90 of The Paris Review
"I write on the typewriter. I didn’t use to ... Occasionally I write a poem in longhand to see whether I can still do it. I don’t want to be forever bound to this machine, this very old circa 1930 I would say, Royal typewriter. I hate to think what will happen when it finally gives out, though you can still find them sometimes in those used office furniture stores on West 23rd Street, which are themselves an endangered species."

— John Ashbery
All photographs © by Jill Krementz: all rights reserved.