We all think we know about John Ashbery, but the new 1998 version promises more than a few surprises. As we know he's written sixteen books of poetry, including Some Trees, The Tennis Court Oath, Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror, Flow Chart, and the most recent,Can You Hear, Bird-as well as a volume of art criticism,Reported Sightings. As we know he has won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award and the National Book Award; been named a Guggenheim Fellow and a MacArthur Fellow; is a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. We all know that he hasn't read here in San Francisco since 1990 and we're happy to join the Art Institute in sponsoring this reading. But it's what wedon't know that intrigues us and never more so than on the 26th, at which date and time JA will preside over the mystic and ambiguous conjunction of Saturn and Venus.

January 26, 1998