John Ashbery was born in Rochester, New York in 1927. He earned degrees from Harvard and Columbia University, and went to France as a Fulbright Scholar in 1955, living there for much of the next decade. His many collections of poetry include Planisphere (2009) and Notes from the Air: Selected Later Poems (2007), which was awarded the 2008 International Griffin Poetry Prize; an early book, Some Trees, was selected by W.H. Auden for the Yale Younger Poets Series (1956), and in 2008 the Library of America published the first volume of his collected poems. He has published numerous translations from the French, including works by Pierre Reverdy, Arthur Rimbaud, Raymond Roussel, and several collections of poems by Pierre Martory. Also active in other areas of the arts, including theater and film, he has served as executive editor of ARTnews, and as art critic for New York magazine and Newsweek. He taught for many years at Brooklyn College and Bard College, and in 1989-90 delivered the Charles Eliot Norton lectures at Harvard. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and was a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets from 1988 to 1999. The winner of many prizes and awards, both nationally and internationally, he has received two Guggenheim Fellowships and was a MacArthur Fellow from 1985 to 1990. His work has been translated into more than twenty-five languages. He lives in New York.
Paolo Javier is the 2010-13 Queens Borough Poet Laureate. He is the author of four chapbooks and three full-length poetry collections, including The Feeling Is Actual (Marsh Hawk Press, Fall 2011). Javier curates two reading series: PRJCTNS, devoted to live film narration and performance, and Queens Poet Lore, a roving poetry series set across the borough. He edits 2nd Avenue Poetry (2ndavepoetry.com), a tiny press of innovative language art, and lives with his wife in Queens.