30 June 2021 / 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

This virtual roundtable, conceived as a series of four talks, gathers scholars and poets around Words&Drawings, a suite of 17 works on paper completed in 1964 by American poet Frank O’Hara and Italian painter Mario Schifano. Our goal is to frame this project within the coeval collaborations between Frank O’Hara and artists such as Larry Rivers, Grace Hartigan, Jasper Johns, Joe Brainard, Norman Bluhm, and Alfred Leslie. In addition, we will contextualize this series in the broader field of poet-painter collaborations in the late Fifties and early Sixties. 

Always held in private collection, the series Words&Drawings is visible in the US for the first time. It is currently on view at the Center for Italian Modern Art (CIMA) as part of the exhibition Facing America. Mario Schifano 1960-1965, curated by Dr. Francesco Guzzetti.

Click here to RSVP to the events. You will receive a confirmation email with the Zoom links to the four conversations and also a reminder before each event.


June 17, 2021 – 12:00 pm (EST)

Collaborations Yesterday and Today. An Introduction to Words&Drawings.
Virginia Magnaghi, Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa

Frank O’Hara’s European Collaborators.
Dr. Matthew Holman, UCL, London

“The poetic possibilities” of New Realism and Pop Art in the Transatlantic Circles of John Ashbery and Mario Schifano.
Professor Karin Roffman, Yale University, New Haven

June 24, 2021 – 12:00 pm (EST)

Why I am Not a Painter: Frank O’Hara and the Conundrum of Word and Image.

Professor Olivier Brossard, Université Gustave Eiffel, Champs-sur-Marne, and

Poet and Professor Ann Lauterbach, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY

June 30, 2021 – 18:00 pm (EST)

Poets John Yau and Tony Towle in conversation

July 1, 2021 – 12:00 pm (EST)

Ron Padgett on Frank O’Hara, Joe Brainard and 1960s New York School Collaborations.

Professor Karin Roffman and Poet Ron Padgett in conversation

Invited speakers

Olivier Brossard is Associate Professor of American literature at Université Gustave Eiffel where he co-runs the Poets and Critics program: He co-founded the Double Change collective, an online magazine and reading series in Paris Olivier Brossard is joca seria éditions American poetry series editor: his most recent translation is John Ashbery’s Self Portrait in a Convex Mirror, in collaboration with Pierre Alferi and Marc Chénetier (joca seria, 2020).

Matthew James Holman is a writer and critic who received his PhD in 2020 from University College London, where he also teaches. Matthew’s research focuses on the poet Frank O’Hara’s curatorial career, as well as the cultural Cold War and the relationship between language and art. He has received research fellowships at Yale University, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Terra Foundation for American Art in Giverny, and the John F. Kennedy Institute for North American Studies in Berlin, where he was supported by a Leverhulme Trust Study Abroad Studentship. His art writing, often on the New York School, has appeared in Frieze, Burlington Contemporary, The Art Newspaper, The White Review, and Apollo. Matthew is currently a Teaching Fellow at Queen Mary University of London and The Slade School of Fine Art.

Ann Lauterbach is a poet and essayist born and grew up in New York City. She spent seven years in London, working as an editor at Thames and Hudson publishers, curator of readings at The Institute for Contemporary Arts, for Fabbri and Partners (Milan and London) and as Production Manager at the art publishers Petersburg Press. Returning to New York, she worked in various art galleries before becoming a full-time teacher. She is the recipient of Guggenheim and MacArthur Fellowships. The author of ten books of poetry, several collaborations with visual artists, and three books of essays, she is Schwab Professor of Languages and Literature at Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York. 

Virginia Magnaghi is a PhD candidate in Art History at the Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa, Italy, and a current Research Fellow at the Center for Italian Modern Art in New York. Her research at CIMA deals with the early figurative works of Mario Schifano, and with his connections to the New York scene of artists and poets during his stays in the US during the Sixties. For her PhD, she is studying the pictorial and literary representations of natural landscape during Fascism.

Ron Padgett is an American poet. Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 1942, he has lived mostly in New York City since 1960. Among his many honors are a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Civitella Ranieri Fellowship, the American Academy of Arts and Letters poetry award, the Shelley Memorial Award, the Robert Creeley Award, the Poetry Society of America’s Frost Award, and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts. The French government made him an Officer in the Order of Arts and Letters. Padgett’s How Long was Pulitzer Prize finalist in poetry and his Collected Poems won the Los Angeles Times Prize for the best poetry book of 2014 and the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America. For many years he taught poetry writing to children and edited books on that subject. He is also a translator of twentieth-century French poets Guillaume Apollinaire, Pierre Reverdy, Valery Larbaud, and Blaise Cendrars, and a co-translator of Chinese poet Yu Jian. Padgett’s own work has been translated into eighteen languages, with recent books in Portuguese, Spanish, French, Greek, Polish, and Italian (Non praticare il cannibalismo). In addition to his poetry, he is the author of biographies and memoirs of Joe Brainard, Ted Berrigan, and his father, as well as Motor Maids across the Continent, a novella. He has collaborated with artists such as Jim Dine, George Schneeman, Joe Brainard, Bertrand Dorny, Rory McEwen, and Alex Katz. Padgett’s most recent poetry collection is Big Cabin. Forthcoming in 2022 is one entitled Dot. He is currently writing a memoir of his life-long friend Dick Gallup, the poet. Seven of Padgett’s poems were used in Jim Jarmusch’s film, Paterson. For more information, go to

Karin Roffman is Associate Director of Public Humanities and a Senior Lecturer in Humanities at Yale University.  She is the author of two books, most recently The Songs We Know Best: John Ashbery’s Early Life (FSG, 2017), which was named one of the 100 notable books for 2017 by the New York Times. She has published essays on poetry, music and art in Raritan, Evergreen, Artforum, Rain Taxi, Yale Review and others, and she was the PI for “John Ashbery’s Nest“ (2019) a digital humanities project on ( at the Yale DHLab.

Tony Towle has been associated with the New York School of poetry since 1963, when he took workshops with Frank O’Hara and Kenneth Koch at the New School. Since then he has published thirteen books of poetry, most recently Noir, from Hanging Loose Press in 2017. He has also written Memoir 1960-63 (Faux Press, 2001), about his early years of becoming a poet in New York. From 1964 to 1982, he was secretary and adminstrative assistant at Tatyana Grosman’s Universal Limited Art Editions (ULAE), publisher of original prints by Jasper Johns, Barnett Newman, Helen Frankenthaler, Robert Rauscenberg, Larry Rivers, Robert Motherwell, Lee Bontecou, James Rosenquist, and other notable artists. This past year, Vehicle Editions brought out My First Three Books, a combination of an interview with Towle about how his early books came into existence; poems from that period, with a CD of the poet reading them; and contemporaneous photographs, many from ULAE. Towle’s latest award was from the Foundation for Contemporary Art in 2015.

John Yau has published books of poetry, fiction, and criticism. His latest poetry publications include a book of poems, Further Adventures in Monochrome (Copper Canyon Press, 2012), and the chapbook, Egyptian Sonnets (Rain Taxi, 2012). His most recent monographs are Catherine Murphy (Rizzoli, 2016), the first book on the artist, and Richard Artschwager: Into the Desert (Black Dog Publishing, 2015). He has also written monographs on A. R. Penck, Jasper Johns, and Andy Warhol. In 1999, he started Black Square Editions, a small press devoted to poetry, fiction, translation, and criticism. He was the Arts Editor for the Brooklyn Rail(2007–2011) before he began writing regularly for Hyperallergic Weekend. He is a Professor of Critical Studies at Mason Gross School of the Arts (Rutgers University).

This series of events is conceived and organized by CIMA fellow Virginia Magnaghi, and is made possible thanks to generous funding from Christie’s Inc.