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Thursday, April 22, 2004

TONIGHT: The Art of the Possible launch party!

Tibor de Nagy Gallery

724 Fifth Avenue

55th and 56th Street, 12th floor

RSVP (required): 212-572-2104

6:00-8:00 p.m.

The Art of the Possible: Comics Mainly without Pictures is a collection of poetry comics written, illustrated, and lettered by Kenneth Koch, the Bollingen Prize-winning poet. Carrying the wit and tenderness of his poems into a genre which, if he did not invent, he certainly made new, The Art of the Possible includes puzzle pages, guides to different kinds of guys, gals, onions and Easter, not to mention observations on eating snails in Wales or looking for a locker in Cuernavaca. Anton Chekhov, Willem de Kooning, a Russian Socrates, Gabonese leader Omar Bongo, and the Dead White Man all make appearances. Both fulfillment of a childhood wish and the product of fifty years' experience in the worlds of literature and art, The Art of the Possible is a unique book by one of America's best-loved poets.

"Kenneth Koch's first ambition in life was to be a comic-strip artist. As a child he was inspired by the surreal comic strips Smokey Stover and Krazy Kat. In the sixties and seventies he enjoyed underground comix, particularly those of R. Crumb. Kenneth's own nonpictorial comics published here make words perform the function of both drawings and their verbal balloon accompaniments. These hilarious and beautiful assemblages are like the raw materials of Koch's superb narrative poems, such as Ko, or a Season on Earth. Thus they are a must-have for any lover of Koch's poetry." --John Ashbery

This party is your first chance to obtain one of the 100 limited-edition hardcovers with a CD of Koch & Larry Rivers performing the comics at the Benton Gallery in Southampton in 1992. Remaining limited-edition hardcovers will be available through the Soft Skull site, along with the hardcover without the CD, and the paperbacks will shortly be available in fine bookstores everywhere. The party also celebrates the release of Koch's two new Knopf paperbacks.

Today is a day I truly love my job.

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