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John Ashbery

John Ashbery is the author of more than twenty books of poetry. He has won the Yale Younger Poets Prize, the Bollingen Prize, the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, the Griffin International Award, and a MacArthur “Genius” Grant. His collection Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror (Penguin, 1976) won the Pulitzer Prize, National Book Award, and the National Book Critics Circle Award. 


The Lonedale Operator

Summer 1981 | Essays

The first movie I ever saw was the Walt Disney cartoon, The Three Little Pigs. My grandmother took me to it. It was back in the days when you went "downtown." There was a second feature, with live actors, called Bring 'Em Back Alive, a documentary about the animal tamer Frank Buck. In this film you saw a python swallow a live pig. This wasn't scary. In fact, it seemed quite normal, the sort of thing you would see in a movie—"reality."