Tony's got some interesting things to say re Ron on Ashbery.
The thing I wonder is would Dave Smith be able to comment on Ron's work at all. I rather suspect Ron cld comment, with some context, on Dave Smith. That's, perhaps, part of Ron's dismissal of that list of Medal for the Arts recipients. The tradition Ron is pushing, radical modernist comme Stein, Zukofsky - New American - Language etc is used to being overlooked in the awards/major review arena. I don't disagree with Tony that there's new terrain to be explored but I'm not sure championing Ashbery, against, for example Pinsky, could do anything but further that exploration.
All that said, I've never read Robert Penn Warren. & I'm ok with that.
But, seriously, is working with awareness in a tradition inherently an oedipal matter? Pollock, to go to another context, seemed to think so. But let's go to jazz, how about Lacy's relation to Monk? It seems to me possible to work in a furthering/celebratory manner that's highly conscious of a/the tradition(s).