John and Elizabeth’s Excellent Adventure: Bishop and Ashbery


It’s well-known that Elizabeth Bishop was a major influence on John Ashbery and that he adored her work.  The two poets even got to know each other as well, before Bishop’s death in 1979.

But who knew that their mutual admiration for each other’s work extended this far? Andy Webster’s brief review in the New York Times of a new documentary on the life of Elizabeth Bishop called “Welcome to This House” includes a detail that caught my eye:

“The poet John Ashbery mentions her asking him over to roll a joint, on the eve of her receiving a Neustadt Prize.”

Oh, to have been a fly on the wall for that visit to Elizabeth’s!

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