Ashbery was born in Rochester, New York, on July 28, 1927. He is the author of more than twenty books of poetry, most recently
A Worldly Country (Ecco, 2007);
Where Shall I Wander (2005);
Chinese Whispers (2002);
Your Name Here (2000);
Girls on the Run: A Poem (1999);
Can You Hear, Bird (1995);
And the Stars Were Shining (1994);
Hotel Lautrémont (1992);
Flow Chart (1991); and
April Galleons (1987). Ashbery has won nearly every major American award for poetry. His collection
A Wave (1984) won the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize;
Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror (1975) received the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the National Book Award; and
Some Trees (1956) was selected by W. H. Auden for the Yale Younger Poets Series.
He was also the first English-language poet to win the Grand Prix de Biennales Internationales de Poésie (Brussels), and has also received the the Bollingen Prize, the English Speaking Union Prize, the Feltrinelli Prize, the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize, two Ingram Merrill Foundation grants, the MLA Common Wealth Award in Literature, the Harriet Monroe Memorial Prize, the Frank O'Hara Prize, the Shelley Memorial Award, and fellowships from The Academy of American Poets, the Fulbright Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the MacArthur Foundation.