Karin Roffman will give a Brown Bag Lunch presentation on Monday, September 16, at 12:15 pm. Her talk is entitled, “‘John Ashbery’s Nest’: A Poet and Collector in His Hudson Home.”

Roffman will be presenting her project, “John Ashbery’s Nest,” a website centered on a virtual tour of the 14-room Victorian home of American poet, collagist, art critic, and collector John Ashbery (1927-2017). Highlighting 232 objects, the site provides a unique opportunity not only to see the art, objects, books, and furniture in this house—the only home Ashbery has ever owned—but also to hear the poet read from related poems and talk about the provenance and resonance that these things, including the space itself, have played in his creative life. Ideally a visit to the interior of the (virtual) house makes one want to return to the interior life of the poems and vice versa, each illuminating the other.

Karin Roffman’s The Songs We Know Best: John Ashbery’s Early Life (FSG, 2017)—the first biography of American poet, art critic and collegiate John Ashbery (1927-2017)—was chosen as a New York Times notable book of 2017. Her first book, American Women Writers in Museums and Libraries (University of Alabama Press, 2010), won the Elizabeth Agee American Literature manuscript prize. She has published essays on art and literature in Modern Fiction Studies, Rain Taxi, Chicago Review, Yale Review, Raritan, Artforum, and others. Her full biographies of poet John Ashbery and the painter Jane Freilicher are forthcoming. She is currently the Associate Director of Public Humanities and a senior lecturer in Humanities at Yale.