The Ashbery Home School of Hudson, New York is a one-week writers’ retreat from August 10th to August 15th, 2014 which welcomes poets who seek to redefine their practice through a radical consideration of the other arts—music, cinema, the visual arts, dance as well as other media. Featuring daily workshops, guest seminars & readings by visiting poets and nightly film screenings, AHS is a concentrated, unique engagement between poetry and the arts in the historic setting of Hudson, New York.
The 2014 faculty will include Timothy Donnelly, Adam Fitzgerald and Dorothea Lasky. Visiting poets and scholars: John Ashbery, Mary Jo Bang, Tom Healy, Robert Polito, Karin Roffman and Dara Wier.
The Hudson House
The key resource and inspiration of the Ashbery Home School is John Ashbery’s 19th-century Hudson residence, a carefully composed collage-environment the poet has constructed and curated over thirty-five years with an eclectic array of fine art by European and American masters, furniture, pottery, textiles, bric-a-brac, toys, and other objects—all organized in an architecturally-distinguished setting.
The house features works by artists Ashbery has counted among his intimate friends and those he has paid homage to as critic, many of whom have subtly influenced his poetry. Scholars and critics increasingly acknowledge the inspirational role that environments play in Ashbery’s creative process, looking to the Hudson house, which some consider to be his most ambitious and fully-realized artwork, for insight into how he uniquely populates his spaces, poetry and collages with things intended to trigger and reflect his imagination. Student poets are invited to discover the breadth of Ashbery’s personal collections, spanning some eight decades as central to the unique program of study at The Ashbery Home School.
The Hudson House has been the feature of numerous academic classes, scholarly articles, artistic collaborations as well as a featured historical exhibition (Fall 2013) at the Loretta Howard Gallery in Chelsea, New York entitled “John Ashbery Collects: Poets Among Things” (curated by Emily Skillings and Adam Fitzgerald). Since 2012, the Hudson House has been the intense study of an ongoing graduate seminar in the Writing Program of The New School, co-taught by Robert Polito, Irwin Chen, Tom Healy and Adam Fitzgerald. Artworks include “Heavenly Days,” a collaboration between Archie Rand and John Ashbery which adapts lines by the Ashbery poem of the same title, matched with select renderings by Rand of the Hudson house interiors. In the summer of 2008, Rain Taxi featured a special web symposium ”A Dream Of This Room: A Created Spaces Portfolio of Works on John Ashbery’s Textual and Domestic Environments.”
About John Ashbery
John Ashbery was born in Rochester, New York, in 1927. His Self-portrait in a Convex Mirror won the three major American prizes—the Pulitzer, the National Book Award, and the National Book Critics Circle Award. Considered by many to be the most important living poet writing in English, Ashbery has published more than twenty collections, most recently Quick Question (2012, Ecco) and his highly acclaimed translation of Rimbaud’s Illuminations (2011, Norton). He served as executive editor of Art News and as an art critic for New York magazine and Newsweek, and exhibits his collages at Tibor de Nagy Gallery in New York. President Obama presented Ashbery with a National Humanities Medal at the White House in 2012. His collages and items from his personal collections are represented by the Tibor de Nagy Gallery.
Founded by the core faculty Timothy Donnelly (Columbia University), Dorothea Lasky (Columbia University) and Adam Fitzgerald (The New School), classes are held daily and include visits from artists and writers who will lead seminars and give readings, present various works of art as well as provoke discussions about object-based aesthetics, interdisciplinary experiments in collaboration and process, as well as the relation of poetry to the fine arts and popular culture.