Thursday, March 18, 2010

Other Flowers uncollected poems Edited by James Meetze and Simon Pettet

Simon Pettet will be reading
with Barbara Henning
at Unnameable Books Sunday March 21st at 2pm
600 Vanderbilt Avenue,Brooklyn (between Dean and St Marks)-
718-789-1534. The nearest train is the QB to 7th Ave; 2 or 3 to
Grand Army Plaza or the C to Clinton-Washington Ave

James Schuyler 1923-1991

When Raymond Foye asked James Schuyler about when he first thought of becoming a writer, Schuyler said he first wanted to be an architect as he was a fan of Frank Lloyd Wright. He then continued:

... reading is what I did most of, poetry and prose. In the back of our house was a gully, a slightly wild area, where I had a tent for the summer. And I was reading a book called Unforgotten Years, by Logan Pearcal Smith. He told how Whitman used to come to their house in Philadelphia from Camden, and what it was like—how Whitman used to sit in the outhouse singing "Old Jim Crow." But then he says the idea suddenly entered his mind that maybe someday he too could be a writer. And I looked up from the book to the landscape outside and it all sort of shimmered.

James Marcus Schuyler was born November 9, 1923 in Chicago, but grew up in Washington DC and near Buffalo in western New York State. He attended Bethany college in West Virginia, but recalled that he did poorly there because I just played bridge all the time. After serving in the Navy during WWII, he moved to New York where he befriended W.H. Auden while working at NBC. He became Auden's typist and moved to Italy with him, but later recalled that he found Auden's formal style inhibiting.

When he returned to New York, Schuyler became a curator at MoMA and a critic for Art News which led him to befriend Willem and Elaine De Kooning, Larry Rivers, and Fairfield Porter with whom he lived for many years. He also befriended Frank O'Hara and John Ashbury.

Always shy, and suffering from manic depression, he avoided reading in public until his final years. Though considered a part of the New York School, and known as a resident at Hotel Chelsea, he claimed to be most productive and happiest when he resided in a country setting.

He received the Frank O'Hara Prize for poetry in 1969 for Freely Espousing, an in 1981 won a Pulitzer Prize for his 1980 collection, The Morning of the Poem.

James Schuyler died of a stroke in New York in 1991 at the age of sixty-seven.

Video and text from PoemsBeingRead

No comments: