"Men with a pair of scissors": Joe Brainard and John Ashbery’s Eclecticism

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


Colleges, School and Institutes


Using Ashbery’s collages and selected poems, in conjunction with Brainard and Ashbery’s collaborative venture The Vermont Notebook (1975), and testimony from Ashbery and his partner David Kermani (who took the photograph on the cover of The Vermont Notebook), this chapter will illuminate the creative, collaborative relationship between Brainard and Ashbery. In shedding new light on their shared aesthetic – a suggestive, screwball aesthetic characterized by inventiveness, eclecticism, and lightness of touch, that seeks connections and troubles boundaries, and that fuses the written word with the visual image in a variety of ways – this chapter will seek to deepen our understanding of the cross-media significance of both Brainard and Ashbery’s work, and to explore the ways in which Brainard informed and shaped Ashbery’s poetics.


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationJoe Brainard's Art
EditorsYasmine Shamma
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019


  • Joe Brainard, John Ashbery, collage