Bill also reflects on his conversation a decade ago with Nobel-prize winning novelist Doris Lessing who passed away in London at the age of 94.
When Bill asks Lessing, whose literary career spanned six decades, if she ever stops writing this is how she answered: "No, I'm compulsive and I deeply think that it has to be something very neurotic. And I'm not joking, it has to be. Because if I've finished a book and this wonderful release, which I'm now feeling; it's off, it's in a parcel, it's gone to a publisher. Bliss and happiness. I don't have to do anything, nothing — I can just sit around. But, suddenly it starts, you see. This terrible feeling that I am just wasting my life."
For the full 90min recording of this event including poetry readings by each guest visit: http://www.nypl.org/audiovideo/john-ashbery-timothy-donnelly-adam-fitzgerald-moderated-robert-polito
Three generations of poets come together to trace the arc of modernism in poetry.
Each illustrious in his own right, Ashbery, Donnelly, and Fitzgerald join together for an evening of conversation and contemplation about poetry. The three generations of poets discuss their works and share ideas in a conversation moderated by Poetry Foundation President Robert Polito to celebrate the publication of Fitzgerald's book of poems, The Late Parade.
John Ashbery has earned degrees from Harvard and Columbia, and went to France as a Fulbright Scholar through 1965. His many collections of poetry include Quick Question (2012), Planisphere (2009) and Notes from the Air: Selected Later Poems (2007), which was awarded the 2008 International Griffin Poetry Prize. Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror (1975) won the three major American prizes — the Pulitzer, the National Book Award, and the National Book Critics Circle Award — and an early book, Some Trees (1956), was selected by W.H. Auden for the Yale Younger Poets Series. Active in various areas of the arts throughout his career, he has served as executive editor of Art News and as art critic for New York Magazine and Newsweek; he exhibits his collages at the Tibor de Nagy Gallery (New York). He has received two Guggenheim Fellowships and was a MacArthur Fellow from 1985 to 1990; most recently, he received the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters from the National Book Foundation (2011) and a National Humanities Medal, presented by President Obama at the White House (2012). His work has been translated into more than twenty-five languages.
Timothy Donnelly is the author of Twenty-seven Props for a Production of Eine Lebenszeit (Grove, 2003) and The Cloud Corporation (Wave, 2010), winner of the 2012 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award. With John Ashbery and Geoffrey G. O'Brien he is the co-author of Three Poets published by Minus A Press late last year. His poems have appeared such magazines as A Public Space, Fence, Harper's, Harvard Review, The Nation, The New Republic, and The Paris Review, among others. He is a recipient of The Paris Review's Bernard F. Conners Prize and fellowships from the New York State Writers Institute and the Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. He is the poetry editor of Boston Review and teaches in the Writing Program at Columbia University's School of the Arts.
Adam Fitzgerald is a New York City based poet. He is founding editor of the poetry journal Maggy, and the small artisan press Monk Books. In 2007, he completed a Masters while editing two unpublished essays of John Ashbery at Boston University's Editorial Institute. In 2010, he received his MFA from Columbia University's School of the Arts in poetry. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Boston Review, Fortnight Journal, Fence, BOMB, The Brooklyn Rail and elsewhere. His poetry reviews and interviews have appeared widely, featuring extended conversations about craft and poetics with Bernadette Mayer (Poetry), Harold Bloom, John Ashbery (Boston Review), James Tate (The Believer), Maureen McLane, Charles Bernstein, Richard Sieburth and Jonathan Galassi (The Brooklyn Rail). He teaches literature and creative writing at Rutgers University and The New School. He lives within a book-cramped studio in the East Village.
Robert Polito is the President of the Poetry Foundation. His many books include the poetry collections Hollywood & God and Doubles, as well as A Reader's Guide to James Merrill's 'The Changing Light at Sandover' and Savage Art: A Biography of Jim Thompson, which received the National Book Critics Circle Award in biography. He was the founding Director of the graduate writing program at the New School.
Join us for an evening with the New Yorker's Hilton Als, as he reads from his latest volume, a cultural cross-examination called White Girls. Released by McSweeney's and hailed in a Publishers Weekly starred review as "compassionate," White Girls marks Hilton's first full release in fourteen years.
In accordance with the new volume, Donna Seaman of Booklist calls Hilton "a fine, piercing observer and interpreter, a writer of lashing exactitude and veracity." White Girls includes deft, smart observations on race, gender, and history, and explains a vast categorical concept that Hilton dubs "white girls"... a thread of our cultural past in present that he claims includes the likes of Truman Capote, Malcolm X, and Flannery O'Connor. Hilton has written for the New Yorker since 1989, and became a staff writer in 1994. He's the recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship and the George Jean Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism, and also contributes to the New York Review of Books.
From Jezebel.com, the popular website for women, comes a must-read encyclopedic guide to pop culture, feminism, fashion, sex, and much more.
Within months of Jezebel's May 2007 appearance on the new media scene, fans of the blog began referring to themselves as ""Jezzies"" in comment threads and organizing reader meet-ups in cities all over the world. By 2008, the devotion of the self-appointed Jezzies reached such a fever pitch that the New York Times ran a feature story about them and parody blogs and copycat websites began popping up right and left.
With contributions from the writers and creatives who give the site its distinctive tone and broad influence, The Book of Jezebel is an encyclopedia of everything important to the modern woman. Running the gamut from Abzug, Bella and The Baby-sitters Club, to Xena, Yogurt, and Zits, and filled with entertaining sidebars and arresting images, this is a must-read for the modern woman.
Cartoonist Lynda Barry appears at the 2013 Library of Congress National Book Festival.
Speaker Biography: Lynda Barry is a writer and cartoonist who lives in rural Wisconsin. She's authored 19 books and received numerous awards and honors for her work, including two William Eisner awards, the American Library Association's Alex award, the Washington State governor's award, the Wisconsin Library Association's R.R. Donnelly award and the Museum of Wisconsin Arts Lifetime Achievement Award. Her work has appeared in many publications, including the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Vanity Fair, Esquire, Newsweek, Time, Salon, Mother Jones, Poetry Magazine and Tin House. She is currently assistant professor in interdisciplinary creativity at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Discovery Fellow at the UW Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery. Her new graphic novel is The Freddie Stories.
Join us for an exclusive conversation with acclaimed Robert Stone, author of Death of The Black-Haired Girl, and Rachel Kushner, author of The Flamethrowers.
Robert, a winner of the National Book Award and two-time Pulitzer Prize nominee, returns with Death of The Black-Haired Girl, his first novel in ten years. Death of The Black-Haired Girl traces the story of a cynical professor and his affair with a brilliant, passionate young student. With his signature blend of uncompromising insight and deft characterization, Robert examines the unintended damage people to themselves and each other. Robert will speak about his writing and answer audience questions!
Joining Robert for the evening will be Rachel Kushner, author of this year's widely acclaimed novel The Flamethrowers, heralded by James Wood as "scintillatingly alive." You won't want to miss out on this chat between two contemporary masters of fiction.