Cover image for The Vermont notebook
The Vermont notebook
Ashbery, John, 1927-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Granary Books ; Calais, Vt. : Z Press, 2001.
Physical Description:
101 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PS3501.S475 V4 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Victor Enns is a poet who engages and beguiles by giving us the simple complexities of childhood on the prairies. Boy is richly evocative of time and place: small town Manitoba in the 60's. Enns gives the reader both archetypal and singular experiences which encompass the fluster and cruelty of childhood encounters, the sometimes bitter nature of faith and the fever of new temptations, and understandings. In part an insightful family story Enns reveals the half-secret places where a child makes room for his true life, a life he sees walking towards him from a great distance. Here is poetry both measured and exhilarating, both lyrical and touched by Enns's own brand of dark wit. Encountering the breathtaking and heartbreaking poems of child abuse toward the end of the collection we gain a new appreciation for both the poet and his fearless poems.

Author Notes

John Ashbery was born on July 28, 1927 in Rochester, New York. He received a bachelor's degree from Harvard University and a master's degree in English from Columbia University. After graduating, he wrote advertising copy for Oxford University Press and McGraw-Hill.

In 1955, he won the Yale Younger Poets prize for his first collection, Some Trees. While on a Fulbright scholarship to Paris, he began writing art criticism and editing small journals. After about a decade in France, he returned to New York, where he became executive editor of ARTnews and continued to work as an arts journalist. After ARTnews was sold in 1972, he taught and wrote art criticism.

He wrote several collections of poetry including Houseboat Days, Flow Chart, And the Stars Were Shining, and Turandot and Other Poems. He received a Pulitzer Prize, a National Book Award, and a National Book Critics Circle Award in 1976 for Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror. He also received the Antonio Feltrinelli International Prize for Poetry in 1992, the Ambassador Book Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008, and the National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters in 2011. In 1993, the French government made him a Chevalier de L'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. He also translated the poems of Pierre Martory. He died on September 3, 2017 at the age of 90.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

"Did I know you, split-levels? What it's like to inhabit your dangerous divided spaces with views of celery plantations?" Long listed on the pages dedicated to "other books by John Ashbery" but largely unobtainable, The Vermont Notebook, the poet's wonderful 1975 collaboration with artist Joe Brainard (1942-1994), is finally seeing accessible print. Nearly 50 page-sized pen-and-ink drawings are matched with diary-like prose pieces, pairings that remain offhandedly perfect. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved