John Ashbery: A Musical Biography

An exploration of the life and work of the great American poet John Ashbery through the lens of music that to him was inspirational and influential.


Karin Roffman

Karin Roffman


Karin Roffman is Associate Professor of English at The United States Military Academy at West Point.  She received her B.A. in English from Stanford University, M.A. in Creative Writing from The Johns Hopkins University, and Ph.D. in English from Yale University.  Roffman is the author of From the Modernist Annex: American Women Writers in Museums and Libraries, published by the University of Alabama Press in 2008.  Winner of the Elizabeth Agee Manuscript Prize, her study reveals how four important modernist women writers—Edith Wharton, Nella Larsen, Marianne Moore, and Ruth Benedict—were simultaneously critical of and shaped by these institutions as they pursued self-education and professional achievement.  Roffman is also the recipient of numerous research grants and fellowships, most recently from the American Council of Learned Societies, the University of Minnesota, and the American Philosophical Society.  In connection with her current research on the poet John Ashbery, she has published two articles on his early life and work, “Self-Education in John Ashbery’s Childhood Diaries” (2011) and “Building Houses in John Ashbery’s Early Poetry” (2012), both in Raritan: A Quarterly Review.  Roffman addresses this topic at greater length in her forthcoming book, Young John Ashbery: A Biography of John Ashbery’s Early Life and Art (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux).