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Karin Roffman
Upstate New York
Karin Roffman's first book is From the Modernist Annex: American Women Writers in Museums and Libraries (University of Alabama Press) and will be published in May, 2010. An essay on John Ashbery is forthcoming in Raritan. She is an Assistant Professor of English at West Point.
Recent Activity
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Unlike most people’s houses, personal photographs do not adorn the mantels or the walls of the Hudson house offering snapshots from a life, yet the house is very personal. Photographs do not offer narratives of a life in this house--but things do. For my final blog entry on the Hudson house, I want to linger on an object very likely to be overlooked on a visit to the house. It is a plain, metal desk lamp that sits on the piano in the music room. Here is a picture: The lamp deserves attention not only because of where it came... Continue reading
Posted Apr 3, 2010 at The Best American Poetry
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In An Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, Gertrude Stein suggests she learned to write by looking at walls. About 1903, she and her brother Leo began amassing what became one of greatest collections of modernist paintings. She wrote in the same room that the paintings were hung floor to ceiling, and she charts how her writing changed as the rows of paintings she looked at shifted as well. John Ashbery also has described the ways his aesthetic developed through looking at walls. Although he is known well for his art criticism and has, as one might expect, a wonderful art... Continue reading
Posted Apr 1, 2010 at The Best American Poetry
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For today’s blog on objects from Ashbery’s Hudson house, I thought I’d walk down the attic steps to the second floor landing. The landing is large. All the rooms on the second floor have doors off the landing. There are also two staircases off the landing: the main staircase, leading downstairs to the first floor landing, and a back staircase that leads to the kitchen. The landing is not only large but well-lit. It looks out onto enormous stained-glass windows (below is a picture). The stained glass adds a particular kind of light to the house; it gives the impression... Continue reading
Posted Mar 30, 2010 at The Best American Poetry
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Doorway to John Ashbery's Hudson, NY home. Photo(c)Ahndraya Parlato I want to thank David Lehman and Stacey Harwood for inviting me to blog about John Ashbery’s Hudson, New York home, and I want to particularly thank John Ashbery and David Kermani for letting me share a piece of the Hudson house with readers. I am in the midst of a study on John Ashbery as a poet and collector, a project that considers his house (and the collections of objects in it, of which the house itself might be considered the first major piece of the collection) as a space... Continue reading
Posted Mar 28, 2010 at The Best American Poetry
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Mar 26, 2010