In case you had any doubt that Don Share, the new editor of Poetry magazine, might take the magazine in some exciting new directions, or that he has a special interest in and deep knowledge of the poets (and painters) of the New York School, look no further than the new January issue of the magazine.
First, the issue contains a special feature that I mentioned earlier, which is devoted to the painter Jane Freilicher and her collaborative and personal relationships with the New York School poets (a counterpart to the exhibit “Jane Freilicher: Painter Among Poets,” which is currently showing in Chicago). The special portfolio has a brief memoir/introduction to Freilicher’s work by her friend John Ashbery, which includes this wonderfully apt observation: “Her pictures always have an air of just coming into being, of tentativeness that is the lifeblood of art.”
There is also a substantial and detailed discussion of Frelicher’s work and her links to the poets by Jenni Quilter. The essay comes adorned with terrific images of Freilicher’s artworks, photographs and portraits of the painter and her poet pals, postcards and poem drafts.
The issue also contains a review by Ange Mlinko of Kenneth Koch‘s The Banquet: The Complete Plays, Films, and Librettos (a book I recently reviewed myself for the Los Angeles Review of Books here, and wrote a bit more about here).
Add to all this some poems by Mark Ford (who is perhaps the leading exponent, critic, and advocate of New York School poetics in England), Adam Fitzgerald (who recently co-curated the exhibit “John Ashbery Collects” and had his first book published with an enthusiastic Ashbery blurb), Amy King (also Ashbery-endorsed), along with a number of other poets with such ties, and you’ve got a very New York School-rich issue of Poetry magazine.
You can check out the whole issue here.