The 'first generation' of New York poets - John Ashbery, Kenneth Koch, Frank O'Hara, and James Schuyler - was celebrated in Mark Ford's The New York Poets: an anthology (2004). Reviewing it in The Times, Rachel Campbell-Johnston wrote: 'The reader feels the electricity that fizzles through their lines, frazzling academic conventions, exploding grammatical rules, spitting the bright sparks that smoldered and ignited a new postmodern mindset.' New York Poets II celebrates the continuing vitality of that unruly 'school', a school which it is impossible to define precisely; indeed, how the poets elude definition is one way of defining it. Which poets to choose? Which poems to choose in this context? Where are the boundaries to be drawn? The painter and writer Trevor Winkfield, who has worked in New York since the 1960s and kws the scene intimately, joins Mark Ford in the task of mapping and populating this radical sequel to the first anthology. Each of the eleven poets is given between fifteen and twenty pages; the selections are provided with brief introductions to the poets' work. Edwin Denby was born in 1903, Bernadette Mayer in 1948. Linking them is a buried narrative which cant be explicitly teased out; it entails an uneven exchange between experiment and the emergence of Language Poetry. The work is various but subtly related in its aspirations and freedoms.
MARK FORD was born in 1962. His publications include two collections of poetry, Landlocked (Chatto, 1992, 1998) and Soft Sift (Faber, 2001); a critical biography of Raymond Roussel; a substantial interview with John Ashbery (Between the Lines, 2003) and a selection of the poems of Frank O'Hara for Carcanet ('Why I Am Not a Painter' and other poems). He contributes to the Times Literary Supplement and the London Review of Books. He teaches at University College London. TREVOR WINKFIELD was born in Leeds in 1944. He exhibits his paintings at Tibor de Nagy Gallery, New York, and has recently published a collaboration with the poet Kenward Elmslie, Snippets. He is the editor and translator of Raymond Roussel's How I Wrote Certain of My Books and Other Writings (Exact Change).