Why I Am Not a “New York School Poet”: Ron Padgett edition

Locus Solus: The New York School of Poets

Ron Padgett

There is a long and hallowed tradition of poets associated with the New York School disparaging the idea of labels for movements and schools and disavowing their own connections to any entity known as the New York School.

Even before the world had ever heard of the “New York School of poetry,” Frank O’Hara and Larry Rivers quipped “schools are for fools” (in their hilarious collaborative essay “How to Proceed in the Arts”).  John Ashbery, too, has famously and repeatedly distanced himself from the idea and the name, as when he told an interviewer “we were not a school; we were people who happened to know each other through the circumstances that I’ve told you about.  And there were enormous similarities and dissimilarities in our work.”  Or in the following remarks, from 1968:

“I think on the whole I dislike the name because it seems to be trying to pin me down…

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