[Regarding Emily Post-Avant: On the Matter of Who Is Presently the Greatest Living Poet of “America,” and Certain Intriguing Rumors that John Ashbery May Have Faked His Death and is Now Hiding in British Columbia]

Dear Dispatches —

Now just a minute. While it is true that Ashbery is still alive, writing and perpetrating the occasional collage, and while Ashbery was surely Douglas Crase’s master, Crase’s relative silence is not so easily accounted for  The behind-the-scenes power that a “deceased” Ashbery wields is not to be underestimated, but he is no less likely to confuse himself with his persona than T. S. Eliot, an affinity with whom is not the first thing that strikes you when you read either of them, but from what I can see Emily is on the right track up to a point.

–David Lehman, Editor, Best American Poetry